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By KUBOTA Beisen, of Tokio 

A Reproduction of a CARTOON designed by H.M. the GERMAN EMPEROR, 
and a specially -drawn MAP 

ffourtb Efcftfon 




First Edition November ig8. 

Second Edition July 1900. Third Edition 1900. 

Fourth Edition March 1904. 





THE intense interest aroused by the outbreak of the war between 
Japan and Russia has caused an immediate demand for a fourth 
edition of this book. It has been thought advisable to re-issue 
it absolutely without alteration and I venture to think that these 
pages, written in 1898, will rather gain in interest when read 
by the light of the stirring events which have occurred since 
that year. 

To what I have written in the Preface to the Second 
Edition (to be found in the next few pages) I have nothing 
to add, save to call attention to the three great historical 
changes that have since come about : 

policy in the Far East has, at last, entered on the 
" Clear Course " which I have so long strenuously 
advocated, and which is treated of in Chapter X. 
struggle for preponderance in the Far East, and 
Japan's immediate exposure of the hollowness of 
Muscovite bluff. 

The unmistakable symptoms of the gradual AWAKENING OF 
CHINA under Japanese impulse, the Chinese turning, in 
their extremity, more and more towards their late foes, 
whose just and humane conduct in the repression of the 
"Boxer" outbreak of 1900 so deeply impressed the 
Celestial mind. 


LONDON, March, 1904. 



THE events now convulsing the Chinese Empire, and threat- 
ening the peace not only of the Far East but of the whole 
world, are the inevitable outcome of the conditions it was my 
object to describe in the following pages. 

I have discussed the various chapters of this book, last sum- 
mer, in the Far East with the statesmen who guide the policy 
of New Japan, and with Chinese and Koreans representative of 
the spirit that animates their nations, with Mandarins of the 
typical, ultra-conservative sort, with leaders of the lamentably 
small Chinese Reform Party, with chiefs of Chinese Secret 
Societies, and with Korean Princes and exiles, banished for 
their reforming tendencies and I find no necessity for altering 
a single statement. 

The reader, bearing in mind that the book was written in 
1898, will be able to judge, by the light of recent portentous 
developments, the accuracy of my views on the forces at work 
in Eastern Asia. I have no desire to assume an attitude or 
" I told you so ! " I simply invite a comparison of my state- 
ment of the position of the different Powers interested as it 
was in 1898, of their aims, their methods and their relative 
strength, with the situation at the present moment, which is 
the logical development of the causes I have striven to 
indicate and to explain. Nothing has occurred within the 
last two years to change the aspirations of the nations of 
Eastern Asia and of the Occidental Powers in contact with 
them. The nations have proceeded along the lines marked 
out for them by the spirit animating their policies. Nothing 
has taken place but what the nature of those various policies 
rendered inevitable. Russia's power in the Far East has 
increased apace Manchuria is in her iron grip, the great Trans- 
Siberian Railway is approaching completion, and in Korea she 
is steadily pushing her way once more to the position of influ- 
ence she had abandoned when more important matters demanded 
her undivided attention elsewhere and made it unadvisable for 


her to risk a conflict, at that time, with Japan. France has 
continued to give her dear "friend and ally," Russia, her valu- 
able and energetic support in her Far Eastern policy. Germany 
has firmly established herself at Kiao-chau, and claims to be con- 
sidered as a factor of prime importance in the politics of Eastern 
Asia. The United States of America make a similar claim, based 
chiefly on their prickly possession of the Philippine Islands. 
Italy, still smarting from the snub administered to her by China 
when she sought a " Sphere of Influence" in Che-kiang, takes 
a lively and active interest in the great drama on which the 
curtain has just been raised. Britain has improved her strategical 
position by her possession of Wei-hai-wei (pronounced u Way- 
high-way") an occupation I was the first publicly to forecast, 
as far back as 3Oth December, 1897, as mentioned on p. 309 
and of the Hinterland, or, as I prefer to call it (why use the 
German term ?), the " backland " of Kow-loon, or Kau-lung, 
opposite Hong-kong. 

The latter increase of territory was rendered absolutely 
necessary in order to protect our great and flourishing sea- 
port from the fire of modern long-range guns. Wei-hai-wei 
might, with considerable expenditure and the application of 
some of the energy shown by the Germans at Kiao-chau, have 
been made once more into a formidable place of arms. As 
it is, the most notable sign of British occupation was, a 
year after the hoisting of the flag, a well-situated cricket- 
pitch. Certainly, some surveys have been made and a Report 
has been ordered on the works and armaments necessary in 
order to restore the powerful stronghold destroyed by the Japan- 
ese, but, at the present rate of progress, war will probably be 
conducted by means of navigable balloons by the time the 
fortress has been rebuilt and re-armed. Something important 
has, however, been done at Wei-hai-wei ; a native regiment, 
" Her Majesty's First Chinese," has been raised from amongst 
the sturdy villagers, and has been trained, with apparently 
excellent results, by British officers and drill-sergeants, forming 
a force well adapted for police duties and for operations against 
Chinese, but probably incapable of successfully encountering 
European troops in regular warfare. 

The improvement, within the last two years, in Britain's 
strategical position in the Far East has not kept pace with the 
rapid advance in Russia's military strength in those regions since 
the Muscovites entered into possession of Port Arthur and began 


to pour a never-ending stream of troops and armaments into the 
formidable place of arms they have also turned into one of the 
world's largest storehouses of steam coal. Whatever gain, and 
it is small enough, may have accrued to Britain in a military 
sense is more than counterbalanced by the continued loss of 
prestige, that most important factor in Far Eastern affairs. 
Deeply impressed by Russia's relentless advance, the Chinese 
authorities were already only too much disposed to make light 
of Britain's power when the news of our early disasters in South 
Africa, much exaggerated in transmission, and distorted to our 
further disadvantage by unfriendly Occidental channels of infor- 
mation, came to convince them that as a Great Power Britain 
was " played out." And they acted accordingly, snubbing British 
diplomacy at every turn, and calmly ignoring, for months to- 
gether, its claims, its representations, its protests and its threats. 
Even in Japan, a country so predisposed to cordial relations with 
Britain, the echoes of the news from South Africa in the earlier 
part of the war shook the belief of many in Britain's ability to 
defend her interests in the Far East. The want of military 
foresight, to put it mildly, displayed at the outset, made a deep 
impression on the Japanese mind. There were not wanting un- 
friendly critics amongst the Non-British foreign residents in Japan 
who spared no efforts to increase this impression, and it is greatly 
to the credit of Japanese common-sense that the majority of the 
people suspended their ultimate judgment until the news of the 
turn of the tide in South Africa came to justify the attitude of 
the Japanese press, which sided, with few and unimportant ex- 
ceptions, with Britain from the commencement of the struggle. 

Korea is still, as in 1898, a prey to conflicting factions, an 
" Empire " save the mark ! torn by dissensions and mis- 
governed to an almost incredible degree. As for Japan, pursuing 
her onward march in the path of civilisation according to 
Western methods, adapted to her needs, she is daily gaining in 
strength. That Japan, with her powerful navy and her excellent 
army, holds the key of the Far Eastern Question is even more 
evident now than when this book was written. Her navy and 
her army have vastly increased in power since Chapter VIT. 
(" Fighting Power ") was penned, but their development has 
proceeded along the lines indicated in that chapter. I was able, 
last summer, thanks to the special opportunities so courteously 
given to me by the Japanese naval and military authorities, to 
satisfy myself, by careful personal investigation, of the absolute 


efficiency of Japan's forces by sea and land. At this moment 
Japan possesses the most powerful battleship afloat a sister-ship 
is almost ready for sea and her admirably-conceived Naval 
Programme is approaching completion, whilst the value of her 
perfectly-organised and sensibly-equipped army has been im- 
mensely increased by the re-armament of the Field Artillery with 
quick-firing, "non-recoiling" guns, immeasurably superior to the 
obsolete field ordnance taken out to South Africa by our own 
Royal Artillery. 

And what of China ? The Chinese people, entertaining a 
strong and not unnatural objection to the virtual absorption of 
parts of their country by foreign Powers, have determined on 
making a bold attempt to put an end to the continual grabbing 
of" Leased Territories " and " Spheres of Influence." " China for 
the Chinese ! " is now the national cry, and they mean thereby 
" China for the Chinese only ! " To ensure this end, they are 
making a desperate effort to remove the hated foreigners from 
within the borders of the Celestial Empire. Perusal of Chapter 
IV. ("The Men of Old China") will give an insight into the 
Chinese spirit and will show the reasons that make it so easy for 
the ruling classes to inflame the passions of the populace against 
the " Foreign Devils " whose subversive influence threatens the 
whole system of administrative corruption on which the officials, 
with few exceptions, fatten. The Mandarins have done their fell 
work but too thoroughly. Hell is let loose in a great part of 
China, and more than one of the Great Powers looks not un- 
favourably upon the idea of furnishing Japan with an International 
Mandate to act as the World's Police in restoring peace and order 
in the distracted Empire. This course appeals strongly to those 
Powers that realise most clearly the great dangers and the 
enormous difficulties attendant on operations carried on by 
combined International Forces. One of these difficulties, and it is 
indeed a serious one, presents itself at once in the fact that the 
eight Powers whose armed forces have been landed in China use 
eight different rifles, and, consequently, eight different patterns 
of cartridges. It is easy to imagine the difficulty of keeping 
an International Column properly supplied with ammunition in 
these circumstances. 

The giving of an International Mandate to Japan, the Power 
most favourably situated for the performance of such a gigantic 
task, meets with two serious obstacles : the objection of Russia 
to anything tending to increase Japan's importance, and to 


diminish her own, in Eastern Asia, and the natural disinclination 
of Japan " once bitten, twice shy ! " to undertake the onerous 
duty of World's Police in China without first obtaining the most 
satisfactory guarantees that her national interests would gain 
substantially in return for the blood and the treasure she would 
be called upon to expend. Japan has not forgotten, nor is she 
likely to forget, her treatment by the " Long Firm," Russia 
France and Germany, immediately after her victory over China. 
The intervention of the three Great Powers that forced her to 
give up Port Arthur so that Russia might seize that coveted 
place of arms, and Britain's and America's neglect, at that critical 
moment, of the interests of Japan, that are also their interests in 
the Far East these are a crime and a blunder the memory of 
which rankles in the Japanese heart. The blunder on the part of 
the English-speaking nations is forgiven they are suffering 
heavily enough for it now but it is not forgotten. The Japanese 
recognise that espousal of their cause at the time of the interven- 
tion of the Three Powers might have led Britain, and perhaps 
America, into a conflict with Russia, France and Germany for 
which the ever-unready English-speaking nations were unpre- 
pared, and the cautious statesmen who direct Japan's policy 
hesitate to face a repetition of the situation. They are unwilling 
to commit their country to a course that might lead to its being 
once more left in the lurch by its natural friends. 

What compensation could Europe and America guarantee 
to Japan were she, as the World's Constable, entrusted with a 
warrant for the pacification of China ? It has been suggested 
that her reward should be territorial, that the Province of 
Fu-kien (opposite to her new dependency, Formosa) should be 
handed over to her by the grateful Powers for her " Sphere of 
Influence." Japan would reply, "Thank you for nothing !" for 
she has already secured, by arrangement with China, Fu-kieu 
as her prospective " Sphere," not to be alienated to any other 
Power. Japan's guerdon must be of a different kind to in- 
duce her to run the great risks involved. We may obtain 
some idea of its probable nature if we bear in mind that the 
ideal of the Japanese is the regeneration of China by Japanese 
agency. They aspire to lead their tottering "Elder Brother" 
away from the brink of the precipice into the safe road of 
modern enlightenment along which Japan has so rapidly 
marched within the last thirty years of the nineteenth century. 

That Japan is better fitted to undertake this stupendous task 


than any other Power is, I trust, clearly indicated in the following 
pages. That she would undertake it from purely disinterested 
motives is not to be expected ; a certain amount of exploitation 
seems inseparable from the task of regenerating a nation. Should 
Japan assume the enormous responsibility of pacifying and 
cleansing, of regulating and educating China, she would deserve 
to reap very substantial profit from her efforts. In the immediate 
future the whole world would be the gainer, and the Powers 
could well afford to let Japan obtain a very large share of the 
benefits accruing from her labours. 

Whether the situation to be created in the remote future 
by an awakening of China's millions, quickened into new life 
under Japanese, or, indeed, iinder any civilised guidance, 
would present dangers, the magnitude of which can hardly be 
estimated, to the interests of the white race that is one of 
the greatest, probably the greatest problem before the Occi- 
dental world to-day. In order to consider this " Yellow Peril " 
(treated of in Chapter VIII.) with the necessary calm, the 
statesmen of the West must await the extinction of the present 
conflagration in China, a blaze that threatens to extend far beyond 
the borders of the Celestial Empire. It is when the flames have 
been put out in China that the greatest danger may arise. The 
International Fire Brigade, a very mixed body, may not be unani- 
mous as to the best means to adopt to prevent a renewal of the 
catastrophe. Their ideas as to preventive measures may differ, 
and dissensions may easily arise as to the proper remuneration 
some, if not all, of the Firemen will claim for their services. A 
grouping of the Powers may take place, in which it is fervently 
to be hoped, for the sake of peace, that Britain, America, and 
Japan, perhaps also Italy whose interests are, in the main, 
identical may have the wisdom to stand steadfastly together. 
That this is the desire of the vast majority of the Japanese nation 
I know from personal experience, for I had, last summer, unusual 
opportunities of ascertaining the feelings towards the English- 
speaking nations of Japanese of all classes, from the Emperor in 
his palace at Tokio to the humblest of His Majesty's subjects in 
remote mountain villages. But this feeling of friendship for 
Britain and America, based on mutual interests, will not lead the 
shrewd Japanese into a policy of adventure. They will fight, and 
fight heroically, if their national interests absolutely demand it ; 
but what they require above all is Peace a few years, at least, of 
Peace to further the development of their rising industries and 


to attract the foreign capital of which those enterprises stand so 
much in need. 

Will the English-speaking nations entrust the chief share 
in the regeneration of China to Japan ? Will they combine 
to protect Japan from the possible, nay, probable, interference of 
other Powers in the execution of her task ? Can they persuade 
Germany to give them her support, or, at least, assurances of 
her neutrality ? Will they guarantee to Japan a reasonable 
return for her labours ? These are questions demanding close 
study. If the English-speaking nations really desire to approach 
the solution of the tremendous Chinese problem a Chinese 
puzzle if ever there was one ! with clear comprehension of the 
facts they must first make up their minds to ignore the mis- 
chievous political catch-words that have come into such promi- 
nence of late, terms that are mere words, obscuring the real 
issues at stake. Let us think less of "Treaty Rights" in a 
country whose Government has no adequate means (and no 
will to do so if it had the means) to enforce the treaties wrung 
from it by force and threats ; let us think less of " Spheres of 
Influence " in plain English : " Spheres of Exploitation " 
vaguely defined, like that hazy notion of the " Yang-tsze Valley, 1 ' 
so glibly used by thousands who have no idea of its exact where- 
abouts. Let us cease to consider the removal from power of 
the Dowager Empress of China, or even of the still more 
rabidly anti-foreign Prince Tiian, as the panacea for all the ills 
that China is heir to ; the masterful old lady and the rabid 
Prince must go, indeed, but their disappearance from the scene 
will by no means solve the question, for they respectively wield 
their immense influence chiefly because each of them is, in 
different degrees, the incarnation of the anti-foreign spirit that 
pervades the minds of the majority of the Chinese. Let us 
remember that the " Righteous Harmonists," whom English 
journalists in the Treaty Ports have so conveniently dubbed 
" The Boxers," are not merely one of the numerous Secret 
Societies with which China is honeycombed, but that they repre- 
sent the feelings of the vast majority of the pig tailed hundreds 
of millions in their war-cry : " Expel the Foreigners ! " (The 
same cry heralded the dawn of the New Era in Japan ; may 
it be a like portent in China !) Above all, let us bear in mind 
that the " Open Door," excellent watchword though it be, 
admits of various loose interpretations. It is quite possible for 
an astute Power to keep the door widely open, yet to spread 


across it a strong, but almost invisible, net that will effectually 
shut out the commerce of her rivals. 

Whilst we, as a nation, are just beginning to study these 
great problems, Japan has long devoted the closest attention to 
them. She has applied her wonderful energies to making herself 
ready for their solution, in conjunction, at least at first, with 
other interested Powers. She has proudly taken her place in 
the comity of civilised nations now that her Revised Treaties 
with other Powers have come into operation contrary to the 
predictions of Occidental croakers in Japan, without causing any 
very serious friction and have abolished the humiliating foreign 
jurisdiction within her borders and made her, at last, mistress 
in her own land. The Japanese are ready. They have learned 
the great lesson of latter-day history, of all history, right well, the 
lesson that if they want to secure the Peace so necessary to their 
development they must be nationally strong. The Gospel 
according to Sandow ? Not quite, for national power is strength 
of character, of body and of resources, prudently directed by 
intellect and knowledge. These combined constitute Might, and 
since the days of Bismarck, more than ever, Might has been 
Right all over the globe. Is it too much to hope that in the not 
too distant future those that are in the Right may be the only 
ones who wield the Might ? So may it be, in the Far East 
and throughout the world ! 

LONDON, July, 1900. 


THIS book is not intended for the expert. It has been written 
for the many who, knowing a little about the Far East, are 
anxious to know more. 

It has been my earnest endeavour to write impartially ; if 
any bias be noticeable in the expression of my opinions it is due 
to the standpoint from which I consider the subject the stand- 
point of one who believes that Britain is called upon to play a 
part of supreme importance in the future of Eastern Asia. 

Profoundly as I esteem and admire Japan, warmly as I re- 
ioice in her rising fortunes, / love Britain, my native country, 
best ; and I am convinced that I am serving her in the best way 
open to me by endeavouring to contribute to the formation of 


a sound Public Opinion upon the Far Eastern Question, based on 
knowledge of the Truth. 

The Inscriptions on the Cover of the volume call for a few 
words of explanation : 

The three Inscriptions in Oriental characters, to be read from 
top to bottom, are translations of the title : The New Far East. 

The Inscription on the right is in Chinese, written with the 
rather square form of ideograms used for titles of books. It is 
due to the deft brush of a distinguished Chinese diplomatist, 
one of the few Mandarins who place love of country before love 
of self, a true patriot, an erudite scholar, an ardent reformer 
and, of course, powerless in the face of the stolid opposition of 
the ignorant and the corrupt who are stifling China. The 
beautifully formed characters read : Hsin Yuen Tang (" New Far 
East "). The Japanese pronunciation of these Chinese characters 
is : Shin Yen To. 

The Inscription in the centre is in Korean On-mun alphabetic 
character, and reads : Sai Tong Pang. The bold, clear characters 
were written for me by the brush of a notable Korean, the Sak-sa 
Yi Chun-yong, a nephew of the reigning Emperor and a grandson 
of that redoubtable personage, His late Highness the Tai-wen-kun, 
the father of the present Sovereign. Accomplished and earnest, 
Yi Chun-yong adds to his exquisite courtesy and calm dignity 
qualities that are general amongst the Korean aristocracy a keen, 
receptive intelligence, a thirst for knowledge, a capacity for work, 
and a concern for his country's welfare, that are, alas ! rarely 
found amongst his compatriots of high rank. 

The Inscription on the left is in Japanese Hiragana, or cursive 
syllabic character, written, in a fine flowing hand, by Professor 
TAKAHASHI Sakuye, of the Imperial Naval Staff College (some- 
times called " The Naval University ") at Tokio, a Corresponding 
Member of the Japan Society. It reads : Arata-narn Higashi-no 
Hate, but the meaning is the same as that of Shin Yen To 
(" New Far East "). 

All three nationalities can read, and understand, the Inscrip- 
tion in Chinese character; although each one would give the 
words, as I have just shown, a different sound, the ideograms, 
well known to every fairly well-educated man amongst them, 
would at once represent, to their minds, the words " New Far 
East." But the other two inscriptions can be read only by com- 
patriots of those who wrote them or by the few of other 


nationalities who have, by dint of much study, acquired the 
requisite knowledge neither Chinese nor Korean can read 
Japanese Hiragana ; neither Chinese nor Japanese can read 
Korean On-mun. Both these systems of writing being phonetic 
they express soimds, varying widely in the different tongues : the 
Chinese characters, which all three Far Eastern nations use, being 
ideographic, express thoughts, that the reader can render in the 
sounds of his own language. 

With the exception of the reproduction of the celebrated 
cartoon drawn by Herr H. Knackfuss from a design by H.M- 
William II., German Emperor and King of Prussia, the Illus- 
trations have all been drawn specially for this book by KUBOTA 
Beisen, of Tokio. I append some particulars regarding this inter- 
esting artist, in the very words used, in a recent letter to me, 
by my friend Mr. Fukai one of the leading journalists and 
authors in New Japan joint editor, with Mr. Tokutomi, of the 
Kokumin Shimbun (" The Nation "), an important Tokio daily, 
and of the Kokumin-no Tomo (" The Nation's Friend "), a monthly 
Review ; and editor of the highly-interesting monthly, in English, 
entitled The Far East. Mr. Fukai's English letter deserves to 
be quoted unabridged, as evidence of remarkable linguistic talent 
on the part of a Japanese who spent but a very short time in 
English-speaking countries. He writes : 

" KUBOTA Beisen was born in 1852, in the City of Kioto, 
the ancient capital, famed for the beauty of its natural scenery 
and the excellence of its fine arts. He early made up his mind 
to devote himself to art, in spite of the objection of his father, 
who wished to let his son succeed him in business. To copy 
pictures from story-books was all the practice that he could 
make, until, at the age of sixteen, he began to study drawing 
under SUZUKI Hyakunen, one of the celebrated masters of the 
time. But, even then, his devotion to art was not approved of 
by his parents, and he had to pursue his studies during the 
night time, when they were asleep. 

" His father, once discovering the secret pursuits of the 
future artist, went so far as to throw his brushes, and other 
materials for drawing, into a river near by. The career of one 
of the masters of pictoral " (sic) " art in Japan was begun under 
these unfavourable circumstances, and it was only alter his 
parents perceived the failing health of their son KUBOTA Beisen 
was allowed by them to follow his inclination freely. 


u KUBOTA Beisen is a self-made artist, and his style of drawing 
is entirely his own. His works are characterised by vivacity > 
force, originality of conception and boldness of stroke. His fame 
spreads year by year. As early as in 1878 he was called upon 
to take part in establishing the School of Art at Kioto. In 1886, 
he was ordered to decorate the ceiling and doors of one of the 
rooms in the Imperial palace, which was then newly building. 
He has been twice abroad ; in 1889, he visited Paris, where he 
made a careful study of European masters. Though his style 
remains strictly Japanese, there can be no doubt that he has 
greatly profited by his knowledge of Western principles and 
methods.* Since 1890 KUBOTA Beisen has been attached to the 
Kokumin Shimbun, one of the most influential and enterprising 
daily newspapers in Tokio. As the Artist- Correspondent of that 
Journal, he attended the World's Columbian Exhibition at 
Chicago, in 1893, and accompanied the Japanese army at the 
time of the war with China. His vivid illustration of the scenes 
of the battlefields was very highly appreciated by the public. 

"On KUBOTA Beisen's return from, the front, the Emperor 
was pleased to summon him to the General Headquarters, and to 
order him to draw pictures in the Imperial presence. In Japan, 
such an honour is very rarely accorded to artists, and the fact 
that KUBOTA Beisen was favoured in this way testifies to the 
high position occupied by him." 

Thus, verbatim et literatim, a Japanese journalist who learnt 
English in Japan, and whose letter bears traces of having been 
written on the spur of the moment, without the slightest 
hesitation. I may add that a painting by KUBOTA Beisen was 
amongst the presents from Japan to Her Majesty the Queen 
on the occasion of her " Diamond " Jubilee. 

In transliterating proper nouns, and other words, from 
Chinese, Japanese, and Korean into the Roman character, I 
have followed the method adopted by the Japan Society in its 
publications, namely : the vowels to be pronounced as in Italian, 
the consonants as in English. The Chinese is identical with 
the German it, and the French u ; the Korean 6 is equivalent to 
the same letter in German, and to the French eu. In Japanese 

* This is not apparent in the illustrations to this book, as he was directed to draw 
them in purely Japanese style. It will be remarked that he is much happier in his 
representations of thoroughly Far Eastern scenes than in depicting figures in Occidental 


the final n has a nasal ng sound ; in the case of double consonants 
both must be sounded as in amma } a shampooer, pronounced 
am-ma and the distinction between the short vowels, z, o, and w, 
and the long vowels, z, <?, w, must be carefully observed, as the 
meaning often depends upon the slight difference. The Japanese 
e is always pronounced as in the English word set I have 
thought it necessary to accentuate it (e) when it forms the ter- 
minal sound of a Japanese word, as in sakt, rice-wine, the tendency 
of the English tongue being to treat the final e as mute. 

The hyphen is used, in the transliteration of Far Eastern com- 
pound words, to indicate the parts represented in the original by 
separate Chinese ideograms. I have refrained, however, from 
using the hyphen in the geographical names in frequent use, such 
as Peking and Tokio (really : Pe-king, To-kio, each of these 
names being written with two Chinese characters), and in Japanese 
personal names. Although the names of the present capital of 
Japan, formerly Yedo, and of the ancient Imperial Court City, are 
now often transliterated : Tokyo (" Eastern Capital "), and Kyoto 
(the latter also : Sai-kyo, " Western Capital "), I have kept to the 
orthography adopted by the Japanese Post Office : Tokio and 

In the names of Far Eastern persons, the word in HOLD type 
is the family name, corresponding to our surname. As will be 
noticed, it comes before the personal appellation, answering to our 
Christian name the Chinese, the Japanese and the Koreans 
(and, in Europe, a nation originally of the same stock, the 
Magyars, whose names are placed in the same order), arguing, 
with considerable logical force, that an individual owns the 
family name from birth, the other name, or names, being- 
bestowed later. Our opposite method has so accustomed us to 
look upon the last name as the one indicating the family, that 
I have thought it advisable to adopt the course pursued in the 
publications of the Japan Society, and to distinguish the family 
name, where it appears in conjunction with a " given name," 
by using bolder type. 

I need hardly state that the Japan Society is in no way 
responsible for the views expressed in this book, which are 
entirely my own personal opinions. 

ARTHUR Di6sv. 

LONDON, November, 1898. 



PREFACE .... ...... v 




IV. THE MEN OF OLD CHINA . . . .184 


VI. THE ALMIGHTY DOLLAR . . .- . .280 

VII. FIGHTING POWER . . . . . . 307 




INDEX . 369 


THE YELLOW PERIL (The German Version). Drawn, in 1895, by H. 
Knackfuss, from a Design by His Majesty William II., German 
Emperor, King of Prussia .... Frontispiece 

NEW JAPAN : Ginza, a Main Street of Tokio, in 1898. Drawn by KUBOTA 

Beisen . * To fact p. 16 

OLD JAPAN : A Warship of the Shogun, of the Period Ka-yei (A.D. 1848- 

1854). Drawn by KUBOTA Beisen . . To face p. 66 

A STREET IN SOUL : The Capital of Korea, in 1898. Drawn by KUBOTA 

Beisen . . . . . . To face p. 92 

NEW JAPAN : Her Majesty the Empress presiding at a Meeting of the 
Council of the Ladies' Branch of the Red Cross Society of Japan. 
Making Bandages for the Wounded (1895). Drawn by KUBOTA 
Beisen ...... To face p. 134 

NEW JAPAN : A Sergeant of the Infantry of the Line, in Field Service 
Order, as in the early part of the War against China (1894). 
Drawn by KUBOTA Beisen .... To face p. 318 

THE REAL YELLOW PERIL : China Awakened. A Forecast. Drawn by 

KUBOTA Beisen ..... To face p. 336 

RUSSIA'S ADVANCE IN THE FAR EAST, 1858 to 1898. Drawn, under 

the direction of the Author, by H. J. Evans . To face p. 342 



ON the seventeenth of September, 1894, n " om noon to 
sunset, the thunder of great guns rolled over the 
waters of Korea Bay, between the Island of Hai- 
yang and the mouth of the Yalu River, proclaiming to an 
amazed world the birth of the New Far East. 

In that fierce sea-fight, by its consequences the most 
important naval action since Trafalgar, Japan had com- 
pletely broken China's maritime power. The hotly-contested 
battle between the fleets of the two great yellow peoples, 
using, for the first time in warfare, the latest death-dealing 
devices of the white men, had resulted in a victory for 
Japan so decisive that from that moment no doubt as 
to the ultimate issue of the struggle could arise in the 
minds of those who understood the modem science of war. 

The Japanese fleet, consisting chiefly of unarmoured 
cruisers (not one of its three ironclads falling within the 
category of modem armoured battleships), had sunk, or 
burnt, without very serious damage to any of its own 
vessels, one of the five armoured ships (two of them 
powerful battleships) and four of the cruisers of the 
Chinese squadron. Those of Vice-Admiral Ting's battleships 
and cruisers that escaped destruction off the mouth of 
the Yalu were to meet their fate later at Wei-hai-wei ; 
those the Japanese torpedos did not sink proving welcome 
additions to the fleet of Japan. 


The victory in Korea Bay had given Japan the com- 
mand of the sea. Her squadrons could, thenceforward, 
range freely over the China seas, her admirably-equipped 
armies could land, almost unopposed, at the points offering 
the greatest advantages for those combined operations by 
sea and land that placed the gateways of Northern China 
Port Arthur and Wei-hai-wei in her possession, and, 
most important fact of all, her communications with the 
base at home were secure from any danger. The Dragon 
Flag had disappeared from the Eastern seas, and the 
perfect security with which Japan could forward reinforce- 
ments and supplies to her armies in the field rendered 
her ultimate triumph merely a matter of time. 

Vice- Admiral Ito's victory over his gallant adversary, 
Vice-Admiral Ting, had secured for Japan a moral success no 
less important than the great material advantages reaped. 
It had proved conclusively to the world the fact, hardly 
realised up to that time by the Japanese themselves, 
that the sailors of New Japan were fully capable of 
using to the best advantage, with a cool, calculating skill 
for which even their own countrymen had not hitherto 
given them credit, the complicated engines of destruction 
devised by Western men of science, the effects of which 
were, until then, still matter for speculation. Moreover, 
the Japanese had now proved that they could achieve 
these results alone, unaided by foreign supervision, even 
against an enemy assisted by many brave and experienced 
European and American officers. 

The importance of the Yalu sea-fight was quickly 
appreciated throughout the world. It revealed suddenly, 
as if by magic, the existence of an entirely new, hitherto 
barely suspected, condition of affairs in Eastern Asia. 
That huge Chinese Empire, which the Western world, 
ever ready to mistake bigness for greatness, had credited 
with boundless stores of latent strength, was shown to 
be an inert mass of corruption, feebly drifting towards 
disintegration, whilst Japan stood revealed in the fall 


glare of a new light as a nation no longer in leading- 
strings, but capable of being, and fully determined to 
be, a dominant factor in Eastern Asia a power to be 
reckoned with, in future, in any political combination 
affecting the countries which face the rising sun. Pre- 
conceived notions, deeply implanted in the minds of 
Western statesmen, were uprooted, popular misconceptions 
received a rude shock ; and, as the battle-smoke drifted 
away over the waves of the China Sea, the astonished 
eyes of Occidentals beheld the Old Far East sinking in 
the flood, along with the boasted naval power of China, 
and, in its stead, rising steadily from " the Edge of Asia/' 
the New Far East came into view. 

The revelation of the new order of things in Eastern 
Asia caused surprise, bordering on amazement, not only 
amongst the peoples of Europe, but even in the councils 
of their statesmen. Sufficient prescience might have been 
expected from the Cabinets to render impossible the un- 
seemly state of flurry into which the victory of Japan 
threw the Governments of all the European states having 
Asiatic interests, with the exception of one. The imper- 
turbable statesmen, unhampered by Parliament or Press, 
who steadfastly direct the unchanging policy of the colossal 
Russian Empire, were, as usual, prepared for any emerg- 
ency. The conflict between China and Japan, with its 
inevitable result, had come to pass, owing to the sagacity 
of Japan's military advisers, a few years too soon to fit 
accurately into Russia's plans. The far-sighted, scientific 
soldiers who direct Japan's military policy had fully 
realised that the decisive blow must be struck at China 
before the completion of the great railway across Siberia 
made the Tsar the arbiter of Northern and North-Eastern 
Asia, and gave him a preponderating influence throughout 
the vast realm of China. The statesmen of St. Peters- 
burg gave their closest attention to the struggle by land 
and sea, inwardly regretting, no doubt, what was for 
them its premature occurrence. They noted the facts, 


registered the birth of the New Far East, and prepared 
to shape their course accordingly, making the necessary 
minor alterations in a policy the main outlines whereof 
had been laid down in the last century and unceasingly 
kept in view ever since. 

Quite otherwise was the situation faced in other Euro- 
pean countries, and especially by the British nation, whose 
interests in the Far East vastly outweigh those of all 
other Powers. In order to appreciate the great difficulties 
which stand in the way of a clear comprehension of the 
problems of the Far East, it is necessary to investigate 
the causes of the surprise prevailing amongst the nations, 
and of the unpreparedness of most of the Governments, 
in presence of a situation that should not have been un- 
expected. The state of things implied by the term "the 
New Far East," had, indeed, been gradually, and steadily, 
coming into existence ever since, in 1841, the echoes 
of the British guns, battering down the forts in the 
Canton River, had reached the shores of Japan ; but it 
was only now that Europe in general, and Britain in 
particular, became aware of the stupendous results of that 
first collision between the iron pot of Modern Europe 
and the earthen jar of the Old Far East. An examina- 
tion of the causes that retarded Occidental, and especially 
British, recognition of the true facts relating to the great 
change in Eastern Asia, will give us some idea of the 
sources of information regarding the Far East generally 
available prior to the war between China and Japan, 
and of the relative value of these sources. It will also, 
incidentally, reveal the causes of many grievous blunders 
committed by European statesmen in their Far Eastern 
policy. It will explain certain aspects of the question not 
easily understood at first sight, and it should prove full 
of warning as to the necessity for being well posted in 
the matter, whilst exercising the greatest caution in the 
selection of sources of information. 

The opening lines of an old German students' song, 


by Wollheim, aptly describe the state of Occidental feeling 
when the New Far East first stood revealed : 

" Ganz Europa vcundert sich nicht wenig, 
Welch 1 ein neues Reich entstanden ist." 

As the old Studentenlicd prophetically puts it : 

" All Europe wonders not a little 
At the new Empire that has arisen." 

Why this astonishment on the part of the Western 
nations ? Surely, it was not for want of channels of 
information, presumably trustworthy and easy of access. 
The West had long been represented in the Far East by 
a numerous body of trained diplomatists and consular 
officers ; its warships and its merchant vessels flocked to 
the Eastern Seas ; many of its most able men of science 
had been engaged for years in teaching the youth of New- 
Japan or in exploring the vast interior of China ; hundreds 
of devoted men and women were spending their lives 
amongst the people of the yellow races, preaching the 
religion of Christ ; commercial intercourse, vastly facilitated 
by steam navigation and telegraphic communication, was 
daily forming new links between the continents, and the 
narratives of travellers into Far Cathay and into the Land 
of the Rising Sun filled many bulky volumes. Yet, what 
was the general opinion of the West at the commence- 
ment of the struggle that was so completely to revolu- 
tionise Eastern Asia, to upset the balance of power in 
the East, to affect it seriously in the West, and to produce 
the actual political situation, fraught with such momentous 
consequences in the near future ? 

When, in the summer of 1894, the news of Japan's 
declaration of war against China was received, the feeling 
all over the civilised world, except in the British Empire, 
was one of sympathy with Japan. Hopes were loudly 
expressed that she would prevail over her huge adversary, 
but, in almost every country, doubts were entertained as 


to her ability to do so. In Germany alone did public 
opinion from the outset predict the victory of the Japanese 
armies, knowing them to have been organised on a 
system skilfully adapted to Japanese requirements from 
the German model. The German Staff Officers, who had 
acted for years as advisers in the organisation and training 
for war of the Japanese army, had returned to Berlin well 
satisfied with the progress made by their apt pupils. As 
usual, the Germans possessed sound information on all the 
points of the approaching conflict. They were not only 
aware of the military efficiency of the Japanese and of 
their perfect readiness for war, but they also knew from 
those German officers who were engaged as instructors 
by various Chinese Viceroys how hopeless was the 
attempt to overcome the ill-will, the ignorance, and the 
corruption of the Military Mandarins, who at every turn 
frustrated their heroic efforts to make an army out of 
the raw material abounding in China. 

The Russian press waited to see which way British 
opinion would incline, and as soon as its tendency showed, 
at the very outset of the war, a leaning towards China, 
what passes for " public opinion " in Russia took the 
opposite view. This did not, of course, affect the attitude 
of the Russian Government ; that made no pronouncement 
of its views until the moment of the crisis, when it 
stepped into the arena, calm, cool, ready with a well- 
defined policy, and supported by allied Governments help- 
ing Russia to carry out that policy, utterly regardless of 
what had been, up to that very time, the loudly-expressed 
public opinion of their own nations. 

The attitude of the British nation, whose vast interests 
in Asia made it, of right, the most nearly concerned of 
the neutral Powers, was at the outset matter for pained 
surprise to all those who really understood the position 
of affairs and the magnitude of the issues. As soon as it 
became known that Japan had resolved upon challenging 
China to a trial of strength on sea and land nominally 


as a solution of their conflict of interests in Korea, really 
in order to determine, once for all, which was to be the 
predominant empire in the Mongolian East a wave of 
indignation swept over Britain. " What ! " cried the 
average Briton, represented by his principal newspapers 
and magazines, with few exceptions, " What ! Those 
impertinent little 'Japs' going wantonly to attack our 
natural ally, China, to disturb the balance of power, to 
jeopardise trade ! They will have to pay dearly for their 
presumption. They may score a success or two just at 
first, but when China brings into play her enormous latent 
strength, when her huge population, her unlimited resources, 
her boundless staying power, begin to tell, Japan must 
needs be crushed in the unequal conflict." 

Thus spoke John Bull in his wrath against the pre- 
sumptuous "Japs," as he has, unfortunately, got into the 
habit of calling the natives of Japan, not only colloquially, 
but also in print in "smart," and would-be "smart," 
books of travel and in the organs of the New Journalism. 
Let me here make a friendly protest against the use of 
this slipshod vulgarism, an importation from across the 
Atlantic that is highly offensive to the Japanese. They do 
not realise the craving for abbreviations characteristic of 
the lazy Anglo-Saxon tongue, whose indolence has well- 
nigh killed the art of conversation in English. They fail 
to appreciate the fact that the term " Jap " is often 
employed in perfect good humour, implying a feeling of 
sympathetic familiarity, for in Japan the rules of a strict 
etiquette, of hoary antiquity, are punctiliously observed in 
the daily intercourse of all classes, even between the 
nearest relations. Familiarity, as we know it, between 
parent and child, husband and wife, brother and sister, or 
between friends, appears ill-bred to the Japanese mind. 
However intimate a Japanese may be with a friend, he 
never slaps him on the back nor calls him " old man ! " 
Hence the feeling of irritation experienced by them 
when we, however cheerily, call them by the distasteful 


abbreviation. A Japanese once said to me : " If your 
people call us 'Japs/ we shall" he paused before gravely 
uttering the dire threat " we shall have to call you 
' Brits ' ! " It is to be feared that even this menace may 
not deter Britons from using a term in which they can 
see no harm. Their own good feeling will, I hope, 
prompt them to abandon it as soon as they know it to 
be offensive to the Japanese the most sensitive, the most 
punctilious of nations, whose exquisite courtesy surely 
deserves some return on our part. 

At the time of which I am writing, however, John 
Bull used the word " Japs " in a contemptuous sense, for 
he was very angry indeed at the Japanese attack on his 
supposed "ally," China. The history of Britain's relations 
with the Far East is full of myths (we have all heard ol 
" the legend of Ta-lien-wan "), and the myth of the 
Chinese alliance is one of the most curious. In spite of 
all the symptoms of creeping paralysis and of senile decay 
the Chinese Empire had manifested for years past, a belief 
had taken root in the British mind that imprisoned in the 
form of the decrepit Chinese dragon lay an enchanted 
Princess, awaiting deliverance at the hands of a British 
Prince Charming. The meekness with which successive 
British Governments had, of late years, endured the 
many outrages on their subjects in China, the obstacles 
openly or secretly opposed to legitimate commerce, 
and the continual slights put upon Britain's representa- 
tives, was supposed to be part of an astute policy. 
The Chinese were to see in this forbearance the clearest 
proof that Britain was their only true friend, generous 
and forgiving to a fault ; and, in return, when the day 
of their awakening came, it was from Britain they were 
to obtain their new civilisation, including, of course, 
largely increased quantities of Manchester goods, and 
of the products of Birmingham and of Sheffield, as its 
necessary adjuncts. Another priceless boon was to be ours 
in consequence of our friendship with China her teeming 


millions were to supply us, in time of need, with a huge 
army, trained and led by British officers, an army whose 
mere existence would reduce Russia to inactivity in Asia 
and render India safe from any attack. 

This delusion was fostered in high places. No less an 
authority than Field-Marshal Viscount Wolseley had testi- 
fied, in print, to the excellent military qualities to be 
found in the Chinese, foretelling the dire distress of Europe, 
overrun by millions of Celestials, armed, drilled, and dis- 
ciplined on Western principles. Other military experts had 
foreshadowed the raising of that enormous host, under 
British command, which was, some day, to checkmate 
Russia. The Chinese navy, too, was supposed to have been 
brought to a high state of efficiency under the guidance 
of Captain Lang and the British instructors associated 
with him. And now those restless Japanese, for no 
apparent valid reason, were about to imperil the realisation 
of these magnificent schemes by a wanton aggression, sure 
to result in their own undoing, but equally certain to 
destroy, for a time at least, Britain's great Far Eastern 
trade. Japan would, without doubt, pay heavily for her 
temerity. Such was the trend of British public opinion, 
and it is just possible that, at all events, in the minds of 
the British commercial settlers in the Far East, a slightly 
malicious pleasure entered into the prospect of Japan's 

When Japan's overweening pride was thoroughly 
humbled by defeat there was no "if" about it in the 
minds of these prophets of evil the new Revised Treaty 
just concluded between Britain and Japan, whereby Japan 
had, for the first time, been recognised as a nation to be 
treated on the footing of an equal, would easily be 
rendered inoperative, and British subjects would be spared 
the indignity of having to abandon their privileged posi- 
tion, and of becoming amenable to Japanese jurisdiction. 
Moreover, Britain would, no doubt, step in at the right 
moment to save Japan from utter annihilation by China 


the contingency of such ultimate intervention was seriously 
discussed in several newspapers and Japan would, of 
course, be eternally grateful to her rescuer, and would 
show her gratitude in tangible form. There was also, in 
the minds of some, a vague feeling that it might not be 
to Britain's disadvantage were Japan's rising naval power, 
now emancipated from British tutelage, to meet with a 
serious check, as was sure to be the case when her ships 
commanded, officered, and manned entirely by natives 
met China's fleet, directed by the numerous European and 
American officers serving, as advisers and instructors, under 
the Dragon Flag. 

How strangely the leading articles, the long and solemn 
contributions to the newspapers and magazines, of those 
summer months of 1894, now read! 

Naturally, all Britons did not share the views just 
stated. The members of .the Japan Society, for instance, 
about six hundred in number at that period (the number 
is now very much larger), thought otherwise, and fore- 
told Japan's victory. The accuracy of their prophecy is 
easily accounted for. The American humourist's warning 
explains it : " Never prophesy unless you know." They 
had access to trustworthy information, and they knew. 

The great majority of the nation were not in posses- 
, sion of the facts regarding the Far East, and the British 
Government was but little better informed. At all events, 
if the Government knew more about the situation than 
"the general public and it would naturally know more it 
shared, to a great extent, the erroneous views of the 
majority as to the likely outcome of the struggle. People 
and Government continued in their error until the logic of 
facts convinced them, very shortly after the outbreak of 
hostilities, that they were "backing the wrong horse. >r 
As soon as they realised this, a sudden and total change 
took place in public opinion and in the attitude of the 
Government, the change in the Cabinet's policy following, 
in truly British fashion, the alteration in the views of the 


nation. In France and in Germany, on the contrary, the 
apparently sudden change in the policy of the Cabinets 
that placed those powers in alliance with Russia for the 
purpose of coercing victorious Japan, caused a complete 
revulsion in the opinions and sympathies of the people, 
turning them from ardent " Japanophiles " into stern 
opponents of the aspirations of Japan. In Russia, what 
does duty for public opinion is supplied, strictly according 
to regulation pattern, by a paternal government. 

I have stated that the majority of Occidentals, and 
especially of Britons, were misinformed as to the forces 
operating to produce the New Far East. It is of great 
importance that the causes of this lamentable ignorance, 
and of the prejudiced views that resulted from it, should 
be ascertained, because it seems but too probable that 
they are still, to a certain extent, in existence. The 
danger still confronts us that this ignorance modified, it 
is true, but not dispelled of the real factors at work in 
the Far East, may lead us, in the future, into errors 
fraught with consequences even more disastrous to our 
interests than those which followed on our blunders in 
the past. 

For a quarter of a century the sun of New Japan 
had been steadily rising over the horizon, whilst China 
continued to sink deeper and deeper into the slough 
of corruption, losing one tributary state after another 
through the incompetence and venality of her officials, 
the inefficiency of her diplomatists, and the contemptible 
weakness of her forces. To most Occidentals the contrast 
presented by the two nations unfortunately failed to 
convey its lesson. In their eyes, and especially in those 
of British people, China still loomed mysterious, huge, 
possessed of vast latent power and of untold resources. It 
seemed impossible that such a large proportion of the 
human race should remain absolutely deaf to the voice 
of progress, perfectly blind to the advantages of modern 
civilisation. The slightest sign of movement in a forward 


direction, although it was chiefly aimed at the possession 
of modern armaments, was hailed by the West as an 
indication that China was really on the eve of her 
awakening. The wish was father to the thought, and 
much sympathy was wasted on what were erroneously 
held to be symptoms of China's resurrection. 

As for Japan, it was still, in the opinion of the great 
majority of Europeans and of Americans, what it had 
always been, a pleasant land of beautiful scenery, bright 
with lovely flowers ; a country inhabited by an interesting 
race with charming, gentle manners, imbued with delicate 
artistic taste, and showing, in recent times, a marvellous 
aptitude for assimilating Western civilisation, often in a 
manner producing quaint, even grotesque, results. In 
short, Japan was, to the Western world, that strange 
medley of the beautiful and the comical described in 
the narratives of scores of travellers in the Land of the 
Rising Sun. 

Until the battle of Ping-yang (in Korean, "Phyong- 
yang"), the first in which the army of New Japan 
proved its complete efficiency, and the naval victory off 
the mouth of the Yalu, testified to her attainment of 
her majority as a modern nation, the Western peoples 
had never taken Japan seriously. The wonderful intel- 
ligence and spirit of adaptability of the Japanese had 
long been recognised, they had been patted on the head 
and smilingly praised for their successful " imitation," 
as it was thought to be it was really adaptation 
of certain phases of European civilisation, and in some 
quarters, and those laying claim to be the best in- 
formed, they had been solemnly warned of their inherent 
weakness, of the futility of any attempt on their part 
to enter into serious rivalry with European Powers. 
The West, having delivered its praise and its homily, 
turned its attention to the lacquer and the carvings, the 
bronzes and the coloured prints, of Old Japan, and, with 
a pitying smile, left the New to struggle through its 


political teething, its attempt at Parliamentary Govern- 

A few months changed all this. The Risen Sun of 
Japan, shining on her victorious armies and fleet, cast its 
rays into every diplomatic Chancellerie in Europe, and 
produced in all of them, except amongst the ice-cool heads 
in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the banks of the 
Neva, a remarkable effect. A sort of "Japan sunstroke" 
affected the entire personnel, not excepting even those 
who steered the various ships of state. Such a flutter- 
ing of diplomatic dovecotes, such a general "setting to 
partners," such an almost universal re-casting of parts in 
the great historical drama, had, in all probability, not 
occurred since those sultry days, twenty-five years before, 
when the Napoleonic Empire succumbed to the sledge- 
hammer blows of the Germans. The confusion and 
bewilderment, the upsetting of preconceived notions, was 
not limited to diplomatic circles ; in the journalistic world 
the flurry was, if possible, still greater. Whilst Ministers 
of Foreign Affairs hastily called for half-forgotten des 
patches from the Far East, slumbering in dusty pigeon- 
holes, and Under-Secretaries of State " got up " the subject 
feverishly, with the help of large maps, there was much 
sharpening of editorial pencils and a great exercise of 
editorial ingenuity in the attempt to explain away those 
inconvenient leading articles, but a few weeks old, in 
which Japan's endeavour against her colossal foe had been 
foredoomed to utter failure. The editors might have 
spared themselves much trouble had they borne in mind 
the fact that the public seldom have a retentive memory 
for the contents of leading articles. 

The question naturally arises, how happened it that 
those presumably in the best position to forecast the 
course of events were so entirely at fault ? 

Their want of prescience must appear all the more 
remarkable when the manifold opportunities are considered 
that Europe and America had for some years enjoyed, 


enabling them, one would think, to ascertain the truth 
about New Japan. Thanks to the Canadian Pacific route, 
Tokio had already for some time been within little more 
than a month's journey from London. Japan was already 
included in the " Grand Tour," considered indispensable as 
giving the finishing touch to higher education. Not only 
had hundreds of "globe-trotters" (now increased to thou- 
sands), been piloted safely through Japan, thanks chiefly to 
the ubiquitous dynasty of Cook and to its active emissaries, 
but scores of eminent personages as well. Several of 
these had been lavishly entertained at the expense of the 
Japanese Government, a fact a few of them seemed to for- 
get in after years ; others, not quite so eminent, had landed 
in Japan provided with the particular kind of useful letter 
of introduction known as "the Diplomatic Soup-ticket," 
ensuring an invitation to the hospitable board of their 
country's representative, and, consequently, opportunities 
of acquiring much local information from the best sources. 
Moreover, large numbers of Japanese officials, students, 
and merchants had been living for years in the principal 
cities of Europe and America. For at least five years 
before the outbreak of the war, hardly a month, nay, 
hardly a week, passed without the appearance of some 
work on Japan, until the reviewers loudly complained 
that Japan had been "overdone." Within the three years 
previous to the conflict, the Japan Society had been 
firmly established in London, and met with unprecedented 
success, counting its members by hundreds, and holding 
frequent meetings, at which experts, European and 
Japanese, addressed crowded audiences on every variety 
of subject connected with Japan, the papers read being 
published, in due course, in the Society's Transactions 
and Proceedings. 

In spite of all this dissemination of information, the 
power latent in Japan remained unknown, save to a few 
far-seeing individuals, earnest students of Far Eastern 
affairs, and these were not heeded when, at the com- 


mencement of hostilities, they proclaimed their belief in 
the strength of Japan and in the utter rottenness of 
China. The European public, and more particularly the 
people of Great Britain, set these cognoscenti down as 
misguided visionaries, and blindly followed the lead of 
those who were considered most likely to know, and 
whose prognostications were so completely stultified by 
the events of the war. 

In America, those who foretold Japan's victory found 
a more sympathetic public, the relations between the 
United States and Japan having been for years on a 
footing of mutual respect and esteem that was too often 
in sharp contrast to the relations of Japan with the 
European Powers. For there is something in the "go- 
ahead" spirit, the vigour and energy of New Japan, that 
is particularly fascinating to the Americans, who admire 
"a real live nation" as much as they love "a real live 
man." To this must be added the hatred of the average 
American towards the Chinese, whom he judges from the 
specimens of the race emigrants of the lowest class from 
Southern China he sees in his own land, even when he 
is not . inflamed against them by the consideration that 
they work for wages he could not live on, though mostly 
at occupations he considers beneath his own dignity. 
These facts, coupled with the memories of Commodore 
Perry's expedition in 1853-4, by which America, knocking 
loudly at the gates of Japan, already creaking on their 
hinges, had first swung them open to the Western world, 
account for the clearer grip of the Far Eastern situation 
held by the people of the United States, who were 
unanimously in favour of Japan during the conflict. 

But if the great mass of British public opinion was 
hopelessly at fault in its estimate of the relative strength 
and capacity of the Empires of the Far East, unfor- 
tunately, those who should have led that opinion to 
accurate conclusions and to wise resolves were themselves 
lamentably ignorant of the truth, and, in their blindness, 


committed errors of judgment, some of which appear 
irreparable. Incredible as it may seem, their successors at 
the helm did not profit by their experience, and made 
but futile efforts to repair the mischief wrought by the 
astonishing want of foresight of those who, in 1894, should 
have known, almost to certainty, what course events 
would take. 

There is, however, some slight excuse for the states- 
men who did not foresee, and for the writers who proved 
false prophets; it is to be found in the fact that they 
depended for their information on sources apparently trust- 
worthy, but, in reality, the least to be relied upon. 

The able, genial and courteous gentlemen who, at that 
time, represented the Western Powers at the Courts of 
Tokio and of Peking, are not entirely to be blamed if 
they failed to convince their respective Governments, long 
beforehand, of the importance of the events that were in 
preparation. Some of them gave their Governments an 
inkling of what would, sooner or later, inevitably occur ; 
but Ministers of Foreign Affairs did not, as a rule, in 
those days, focus their attention on reports from far-off 
lands, dealing with apparently remote contingencies. This 
does not, of course, apply to Russia, where a special 
Asiatic Department of the Foreign Office had, for years, 
been kept accurately informed of every phase of the Far 
Eastern Question, and had laid its plans according^. 
Besides, Russia is so essentially a semi-Asiatic state that 
it is incorrect to include her, as is too frequently done, 
in the term "the Western Powers." Just at the outbreak 
of hostilities, the Foreign Offices of all the Powers, as 
well as their Legations at Tokio, were fully occupied with 
the important question of the Revision of the Treaties, 
in which Great Britain nobly took the lead, in spite of 
the vehement opposition of her subjects dwelling in Japan. 
The clamour raised by the majority of the Europeans 
trading in the Far East in their angry protests against 
Treaty Revision caused the low rumblings, premonitory 


of the approaching conflict, to pass unnoticed by the 
statesmen of the West. 

The Legations at Peking were also busy at the time, 
especially the notoriously undermanned British Legation. 
The astute pettifoggers who compose the Chinese Board 
of Foreign Affairs, the far-famed Tsung-li Yamtn, took 
good care that the worried and overworked foreign 
diplomatists and consular officers should have but little 
leisure to devote to probing the rotten condition of China. 
They kept them incessantly busy with the thousand and 
one details of the every-day routine of diplomatic work 
at Peking, which had, for years past, consisted in an 
uphill struggle to keep the Celestial authorities to the 
fulfilment of treaties, duly signed and ratified, but never 
carried out to the full extent of their provisions a struggle 
occasionally diversified by claims for indemnities in repara- 
tion of outrages on missionaries, and, in the case of the 
representatives of the more active Powers of Continental 
Europe, .by strenuous efforts to obtain " concessions " for 
enterprising financiers, or manufacturers, recommended to 
them by their Governments. Thus fully occupied with 
the transaction of their ordinary business, the Western 
representatives in the Far East had neither time nor 
sufficient opportunity to study the grave situation that 
was developing around them. Had they done so, it is 
questionable whether their reports would have received 
the attention due to their importance. Bitter experience 
has taught the Western diplomatist that dissertations on 
the actual condition and future prospects of the country 
he is accredited to, when they do not happen to square 
with the views held by his chief at home, are not 
conducive to promotion. 

As to the non-diplomatic sources from which the West 
expected sound information about the strength of the 
belligerents in Eastern Asia, they were to be found 
amongst the European and American communities in the 
Far East, as represented by their newspapers. It may be 


said, in sober truth, that no less trustworthy guides could 
have been found. 

There are, probably, no communities, residing out of 
their own countries, so absolutely isolated from the people 
amongst whom they live, so completely out of touch with 
native feeling and aspirations, as the European, and, to a 
lesser extent, the American, colonies in the Far East. 

Hundreds, nay, thousands, of Occidentals have spent 
the best part of their lives in China, accumulating, in 
many cases, great wealth derived from trading with the 
natives, and have left the Flowery Land almost as 
ignorant of the real character of its inhabitants, of their 
language, their beliefs and their feelings, as on the day 
of their first landing in Far Cathay. Their notions of 
the national characteristics have been derived from their 
Compradores (it is by this Portuguese word, meaning 
" Buyers," that the Chinese employes are designated, who 
act as the foreign merchants' intermediaries in their 
dealings with native firms), from their " Boys," those 
imperturbable, attentive, noiseless body-servants, from the 
Ama, the faithful maids and the devoted nurses who 
bring up their children ; and the information that has 
reached them through these channels has been conveyed 
through the medium of " Pidjin - English," the most 
curious jargon in the world. What they know of the 
character of the Chinese official class, of the thoughts and 
feelings of the Mandarins, has been chiefly gathered from 
the table-talk of Consuls and of Occidental officers in the 
service of the Imperial Chinese Maritime Customs, or 
otherwise in Chinese employment. Even such knowledge 
is, of necessity, superficial, and consists, principally, of 
information, at second-hand, relating to various quaint 
instances 01 Chinese official wrong-headedness, of Mandarin 
wiles and arrogance. Hardly any attempt is made by the 
Western commercial settler to fathom the true meaning 
of these instances. They furnish him with material for 
entertaining after-dinner stories, especially when he returns 


to his native land, they supply topics for leisurely dis- 
cussion, over cheroots and "pegs," in well-appointed Far- 
Eastern clubs ; but they seldom stimulate an earnest 
attempt to understand the causes underlying these mani- 
festations of the Chinese spirit. " Queer lot, these 
Chinamen ! " says the average European merchant in 
China, and rests satisfied that research into the reasons 
for their queerness would be fruitless, or, at all events, a 
task to be left to the "Mish," as he colloquially terms 
the Missionary. 

The latter has unusual opportunities for studying the 
people most closely ; unfortunately those with whom he 
is habitually in contact rarely belong to the official class, 
which is paramount in China. Moreover, his views are, 
very naturally, tinged with a large amount of prejudice 
against the ancient beliefs and moral codes it is his aim 
to destroy, in order to make room for the particular 
creed and the particular ethical system he has brought 
from far beyond the seas. These remarks do not, be it 
well understood, apply to all Missionaries, nor do the 
foregoing observations hold good of all Occidental mer- 
chants in China, for there are, in both classes, notable 
exceptions, who really know the workings of the Chinese 
mind, and can impartially judge the actions and the 
motives of Chinese, high or low, cultured official or lowly 
"coolie." What I have said of the isolation of the 
foreign communities from the people of the land, of their 
lack of deep interest in their surroundings, and of their 
ignorance of the forces at work around them, remains 
true of the great majority of Western commercial 
settlers in China, and, to a considerable extent, of those 
in Japan. 

Many Occidentals who have spent the greater part or 
their lives in Japan have, it is true, acquired considerable 
fluency in the colloquial tongue (quite distinct from the 
literary language), and an extensive acquaintance with the 
manners and customs and the mode of thought of the 


classes of natives with which they have come in contact. 
Unfortunately, these are seldom the classes that direct 
the country's policy. The few foreigners in the employ- 
ment of the Japanese Government as Technical Advisers, 
and their number is now reduced to a mere handful, do, 
indeed, come into daily contact with Japanese of the 
governing classes ; but it must be borne in mind that these 
Europeans and Americans, whose services to Japan are 
beyond all praise, and merit her eternal gratitude, are 
never Japanese Government Officers, but are strictly 
confined to their limited sphere as advisers and instructors 
invaluable guides to be made use of, not responsible 
officials to be entrusted with secrets of State. 

It was hardly, therefore, from these Advisers that 
information could be looked for which might have enabled 
the West to forecast the probable course of events in the 
Far East, especially as the nature of their duties keeps 
them busily engaged in their several special departments, 
the Japanese not being at all anxious to afford them 
assistance in extending their investigations into the field 
of Japanese policy. 

A few, very few, Occidentals have succeeded, after 
years of patient research making use of a natural gift of 
sympathetic insight in lifting the veil behind which the 
Far East thinks and hopes and wishes, but their revela- 
tions of the workings of the Oriental mind have been 
either inaccessible to the general public who do not, as 
a rule, read the publications of learned societies, nor works 
with grimly forbidding scientific titles or else they have 
been looked upon as the views of enthusiasts, earned 
away by their own pet hobbies. 

One or two of those who had really penetrated into 
the innermost recesses of the Japanese heart laboured 
under the disadvantage of being imbued with the poetic 
spirit, which, harmonising naturally with the fascinating 
subject of their study, led them to clothe their thoughts 
in language that impaired the scientific value of their 


work. Their readers enjoyed a rare literary treat, and 
laid their books aside with the reflection that all this was 
very beautiful and highly inspiring, but that, after all, it 
was poetry, or hyperbolic prose, as the case might be, 
and, consequently, untrustworthy as a guide to the truth 
about the Far East. 

As to the members of the European and American 
mercantile community in Japan, what has been stated 
about the foreign commercial settlers in China applies, in 
great measure, to them. The totally erroneous nature of 
their estimate of the capabilities of the people amongst 
whom they live is clearly demonstrated by a perusal of 
articles in their organs in the foreign press of Japan, 
published in the early days of the war. These articles 
were full of the gloomiest forebodings as to the upshot of 
the conflict ; they eagerly magnified every rumour of a 
Japanese reverse, however apocryphal ; they minimised 
every report of a Japanese success, and their animus was 
but too plainly apparent. If not in so many words, yet 
in perfectly unmistakable terms, these newspapers, written 
in English for the general foreign community in Japan, 
and evidently catering for their tastes, predicted defeat 
to the Japanese arms, and scarcely concealed their satis- 
faction at the prospect. This sufficiently characterises 
their value, at that time, as channels of impartial informa- 
tion on Japanese matters. In order rightly to understand 
the extraordinary behaviour, in the early stages of the 
war, of certain newspapers published in Japan, which have 
some claim to be considered as English periodicals, it 
may be useful to put a hypothetical case on parallel 
lines, in order to illustrate a highly creditable phase of 
the Japanese character. 

Let us suppose Britain at war with Russia, and several 
French newspapers published in London, by Frenchmen, 
circulating widely not only amongst the French colony, but 
also amongst all the strangers within our gates, and supply- 
ing, through the medium of journalistic "exchanges," a large 


proportion of the news from England appearing in the Con- 
tinental press. Let us, further, assume that the French 
colony in London is a large, active, and wealthy com- 
munity, enjoying special immunities and privileges, and 
subject only to the French Code, administered by French 

Let us imagine that, at the very outset of the war, 
when Britain's fate is hanging in the balance all 
seemingly depending on the result of one or two pitched 
battles on land and a great sea-fight that, at this 
moment of national anxiety, the French organs in London, 
known to represent the views of the great majority of 
the foreign residents, publish article after article predict- 
ing disaster to the British armies and fleets, chuckling 
maliciously at every rumour of a reverse to a British 
column or a mishap to a British ship, and treating the 
news of every British victory with sarcastic incredulity 
until unable to deny it any longer. What would be the 
attitude of the citizens of London towards those news- 
papers, their editors and publishers, and towards the 
French colony in general ? 

Is it wholly improbable that, law-abiding as Londoners 
are, the provocation would prove too strong, and that a 
riotous London mob, or, possibly, an organised posse 01 
irate citizens, would summarily and effectually suppress 
the offending journals ? 

What was the conduct of the Japanese in circumstances 
precisely similar to those imagined ? 

Their vernacular press, naturally, evinced the greatest 
indignation ; the same feeling was displayed in the leading 
English newspaper of Japan The Japan Mail known to 
be in close connection with Japanese official circles, and, 
at that time, in marked antagonism to the other foreign 
journals in the country {The Japan Times, a newspapei 
in English, owned, and admirably edited, by Japanese, 
had not yet appeared), but not a stone was thrown at 
the office of any of the periodicals that published the 


provocative articles, and their editors and contributors 
remained absolutely unmolested. 

Since the events of the war stultified the prophets of 
evil, a marked improvement has taken place in the tone 
of the formerly anti-Japanese English press in Japan. 
To read their columns, full of appreciative references to 
Japanese affairs, one would hardly think it possible that 
from the same editorial pens gall and wormwood had so 
recently flowed over everything Japanese. Perhaps the 
rapid approach of the time when, under the operation 
of the Revised Treaties, foreigners in Japan will become 
amenable to the laws of the land, and alien editors will, 
consequently, be subject to stringent Press Laws, may 
have had its share in bringing about this gratifying change 
of front. It is suggestive that certain editors of English 
newspapers in Japan visited several Japanese gaols (in the 
winter of 1897-8), with a view, so they announced, of 
ascertaining what kind of prison life awaited Occidentals 
who might be convicted by a Japanese judge under the 
provisions of the new Treaties. On the editorial staff ot 
those very outspoken native Japanese newspapers that 
most frequently come into collision with the Press Laws, 
a "Prison Editor" is kept, who, instead of going out to 
combat not necessarily fatal, or even dangerous for his 
journal, like the "Fighting Editor" of the Parisian press, 
meekly goes into durance vile whenever the Public Pro- 
secutor secures a conviction against the periodical on 
which his name figures as "Responsible Editor." The 
appointment of such a "man of straw" may be under 
consideration, with a view to future contingencies, in more 
than one English editorial office in Japan ; but it will 
scarcely be necessary if the Japanese authorities, with 
their usual tact, recognise, as they probably will, that an 
unfettered foreign press provides a useful safety-valve for 
the grumbling of the alien settlers, and cannot seriously 
affect the mass of the population, unable to read a news- 
paper in a foreign language. 


Enough has been said to indicate the difficulties 
encountered by Occidentals before the war and, to a 
certain extent, since, in the attempt to obtain absolutely 
unbiassed information as to the real condition of Japan, 
the predominant factor in the New Far East, and the 
true spirit of its people ; but, in corroboration, a con- 
versation may be recalled that took place in London, a 
little more than two years before the war, over post- 
prandial coffee and cigars, at the table of a prominent 
member of the Japan Society, then newly constituted. 

Half-a-dozen Englishmen, all intimately connected with 
Japan, some of them having spent the best years of their 
lives in the country, were discussing its future. One fore- 
saw that Japan might, some day, manufacture a very 
considerable quantity of the coarser kinds of cotton goods. 
Another admitted that Japan might, also in that remote 
future indicated by " some day," produce physicians, but 
more probably surgeons, whose skill would astonish the 
world, and who might greatly further the healing arts. 
He believed that Japanese investigators might make 
important discoveries in biology, or in chemistry, owing 
to their painstaking, minutely precise, methods of research. 
A third conceded that the skill of her craftsmen, the 
frugality of their mode of living, and the consequent low 
rate of wages, might divert certain European industries 
to Japan. 

One alone, the writer of these pages, sketched in 
glowing colours the future of Japan as he foresaw it ; the 
sea-power, and its attendant commercial and industrial 
activity ; the military efficiency, the patriotic spirit, enabling 
the nation to crush its huge rival, China ; then the influx 
of capital from abroad, the development of natural re- 
sources, the advance in all the sciences ; the great ship- 
building industry and the carrying trade in short, Japan 
powerful, prosperous, progressive, and rich the Great 
Britain of the East ! 

At once there arose a chorus of dissentient voices, 


raising weighty objections. It was evident, they said, 
that I was a visionary, carried away by my enthusiasm 
into dreams of the utterly impossible. To begin with, 
Japan was a poor country, with a larger population than 
her natural resources could maintain. Every available acre 
of arable land was cultivated, the country was unsuited 
for pasture, the forests had been recklessly destroyed in 
times past, and many years must elapse before the new 
Forestry Laws could show beneficial results. Japan could 
never become a great shipbuilding country, as she did not 
possess iron in sufficiently large quantities. Her mineral 
wealth in general had been much exaggerated ; the gold 
mines, for instance, were almost exhausted. Europe and 
America need never fear the industrial rivalry of Japan, 
whose working classes would, with new wants creating a 
higher standard of living, soon combine and strike for 
higher wages. 

Moreover, urged the objectors, intellectual, quick at 
learning, and wonderfully imitative as the Japanese un- 
doubtedly were, their mental powers were strictly limited. 
Ask anyone, they said, who had instructed Japanese in 
large numbers, and you would hear that, with a few 
brilliant exceptions, they seemed unable to rise above a 
dead level of respectable mediocrity. (This was said as 
if it were true of the Japanese only, as if such mental 
conditions were not to be found amongst the youth of 
every Occidental country ! ) 

Read, they urged, translations of State Papers written 
by Japanese statesmen, peruse the despatches of their 
diplomatists, the arguments in their courts of law, the 
debates in their Parliament, and one must recognise that 
there was a factor wanting in the Japanese intellect, an 
element of logic lacking, so that their reasoning could 
never be brought into line with that of Occidentals. The 
sorry spectacle presented by the attempt at Parliamentary 
Government was a sufficient indication of the unfitness of 
the Japanese for the most advanced institutions of the 


West, at least for many years to come. Party strife 
might ruin the country before it had time to grow up to 
its new Constitution. 

As to the capacity of the Japanese for war, it was 
admitted by my opponents that they would certainly 
fight well, for they were brave to a fault, and skilful in 
the use of arms; but it was a moot point whether their 
military organisation, " copied, even to minute details, from 
the German model, and thus entirely foreign to their 
national spirit," would stand the strain of a war. 

Here the objectors were not only wrong in their 
surmises, but inaccurate in their "facts." The admirable 
organisation of the Japanese army was never slavishly 
copied, en bloc, from the German pattern. It was skilfully 
adapted to meet Japanese requirements and to suit Japanese 
national peculiarities. Accuracy in such matters is hardly 
to be expected from the average British civilian in the 
Far East, when we consider how little his compatriots at 
home know about the organisation of their own naval 
and military forces. 

Then the objectors turned to my forecast of Japan's 
future power at sea. The Japanese, they said, were 
plucky, even daring, sailors, and their naval officers were 
able to perform routine duties quite creditably, and to 
handle their ships, their guns and torpedos, in ordinary 
circumstances, but it was more than likely that, without 
European supervision, they would lose their heads under 
stress of storm, or in the excitement of action. 

" Japan defeat China in the long run ! " The thought, 
it was said, was preposterous ! Why, China, in spite ol 
undoubted official corruption, had a splendid navy and a 
large number of troops well armed and drilled on the 
Prussian system, with colossal resources in men, material 
of war, and money ; and, above all, she enjoyed the 
enormous advantage of having in her employ a large 
number of capable European and American officers to 
train and lead her troops, to take her ships into action, 


and to superintend the defence of the strongholds their 
science had made impregnable (Port Arthur and Wei- 
hai-wei !). 

Thus spoke men who were, apparently, in a position 
to know the Far East as well as any foreigners could 
men who delighted in the beauty and charm of Japan, 
who were devoted admirers of its glorious art, who really 
liked, almost loved, its people, but who suffered from the 
disadvantage of having, unconsciously, allowed the great 
wall of racial prejudice to bar their way to the right 
understanding of the true Japanese spirit, and of the 
possibilities of New Japan. 

They were men of light and leading, whose names are 
household words amongst Occidentals in the Far East, 
and in wider circles at home, yet the prejudice of race 
had warped their views had obscured their otherwise 
keen sense of observation. Almost every one of their 
positive assertions has been either totally contradicted, 
or greatly modified, by the stern evidence of subsequent 
facts, whilst the predictions of their one opponent are 
partly realised, partly on the way to early fulfilment. 

If men so intimately connected with Japan erred thus 
grossly in their estimate of the powers of her people, 
others, who ought to have known China thoroughly, were 
quite as much at fault in their forecasts of the issue of 
the struggle. Often, during the conflict, did I have to 
listen to well-meant, but erroneous, advice from men who 
had lived many years in the Flowery Land, urging me 
to "look facts in the face." The alleged "facts" that 
were brought forward, in order to shake my belief in 
Japan's ultimate triumph, were of the kind I have already 
indicated in the attempt to depict John Bull's leanings 
towards China at the commencement of the war " vast 
resources, immense territory, great force of passive resist- 
ance, enormous population supplying excellent fighting 
material for the numerous Occidental instructors to train 
into first-rate soldiers and sailors, boundless staying-power" 


all these advantages on the side of the huge Empire 
were paraded, time after time, accompanied by loud con- 
demnation of Japan, as was only natural on the part of 
the red-hot partisans of China. The British public was 
supplied with these pro-Chinese arguments, ad nauseam, 
one would have thought, and adopted them, at the first 
report of hostilities, with wonderful alacrity. The logic 
of events soon caused a complete revulsion of British 
feeling, but the arguments that were then abandoned had, 
at first, been so readily accepted that one cannot but 
think there must have been something in, them particularly 
agreeable to the average Briton's mind. 

This was, indeed, the case. Most of the advantages 
claimed for China were identical with those the average 
Briton points out as amongst the principal conditions which 
render his own Empire invincible. For this reason, if for 
no others, the people of Britain were predisposed to wish 
success to the Chinese arms. The utter collapse of the 
huge nation with the "vast resources, unlimited staying- 
power," and so forth, could not but provide food for un- 
pleasant reflection to the people, and their name is Legion, 
who relied and, it is to be feared, still rely on those 
very conditions of magnitude of population, of territory, 
and of accumulated wealth, to make up for the lack of 
preparation for war. One of the most important perhaps 
the most important of the many lessons to be derived 
by the English-speaking nations from the victory of Japan 
is the practical demonstration of the inability of un- 
prepared, untrained, unmilitary millions to cope with 
forces vastly inferior in numbers, but organised, trained, 
and equipped to perfection, and ready at a given signal 
to utilise the warlike spirit with which they are imbued. 

The complete success of the Japanese showed once 
more that in modern warfare events move in such rapid 
sequence that the unready nation, however numerous, 
however rich, cannot bring its resources into play before 
the conqueror, following up his first success by a quick 


repetition of well-directed blows, has got his iron heel on 
his foe's neck. The thoughtful on both sides of the Atlantic 
may have noted the lesson ; the bulk of the English-speaking 
races did not heed it. The unreadiness of the land forces 
of the great North American Republic at the outset of 
the war with Spain plainly indicated that the lesson of 
the Far Eastern conflict was not sufficiently appreciated in 
the United States. The truth inculcated by that lesson 
had been realised twenty years previously by the statesmen 
of Japan. They set to work in their usual thorough fashion, 
and they had their reward when their nation of forty-two 
millions broke the power of their huge neighbour, the 
nation of nearly four hundred millions almost a third of 
the population of the globe, according to some statisticians 
and humbled its pride in the dust. 

The British public, misled by untrustworthy guides, was 
not only wrong in its estimate of the relative strength ot 
the contending Empires of the Far East, it was completely 
mistaken as to the real causes that had brought on the 
conflict. In the early days of the war, perplexed citizens 
asked one another on that morning journey office-wards 
which is the busy Briton's chief opportunity of discussing, 
newspaper in hand, the grave problems of international 
politics " what all the trouble in the Far East was 
about ? " The invariable answer came from that usually 
dogmatic, and often dangerous, guide, the Well-informed 
Person. From his coign of vantage in the corner-seat of 
the railway compartment, the tram-car, or the omnibus 
the Well - informed One spoke : " Oh 1 It's all about 
Korea. Japan wants to rule over Korea, and China, 
whose tributary Korea is, has a prior claim. So the 
Japanese are going to fight the Chinese about it, and are 
sure to be beaten in the end." 

The Well-informed Person was superficially right, but 
radically wrong. The dispute about the right to send 
troops into Korea, in order to put an end to the civil war 
which was devastating that distressful country the Japanese 


complaining that China had broken the Convention ot 
Tientsin, made with her in May, 1885, by not giving 
sufficiently timely notice of her military action this was, 
indeed, the nominal cause of the war, but it was a mere 
pretext for the commencement of hostilities. History 
teaches us that nearly all the great wars which have 
shaped the destinies of nations arose, apparently, from 
petty international squabbles that any two men, possessing 
an average amount of common-sense, could have settled 
satisfactorily in an hour or two, but that the real causes 
of the struggles that have rent humanity lie much deeper. 
The world notes, and remembers, the trivial pretext. A 
monarch's hasty word, the whim of a royal mistress, 
a statesman's blunder, an admiral's high-handed action, 
an agitator's lurid speech, the momentary fury of a riotous 
mob, a square yard of parti-coloured bunting hoisted on 
a negro chief's hut, the exclusive right to sell poisonous 
potato-spirit and cheap muskets to the inhabitants of some 
square miles of pestilential swamp these, and a score 
of other futile reasons, are the causes the schoolboy is 
taught to consider as sufficiently accounting for inter- 
national slaughter on a grand scale. The real, deep- 
rooted causes of the struggles between nations remain 
hidden to the eyes of the majority, or, if disclosed, are 
soon overlooked. 

The great duel between France and Germany, in 1870-71, 
had for its ostensible reason a dispute of a purely dynastic 
character. The throne of Spain was vacant ; a German 
princeling had applied for the situation not an unusual 
proceeding on the part of one of a class that has provided 
occupants for many vacant thrones Napoleon III. objected 
to the candidature ; it was reluctantly withdrawn ; sharp 
notes were exchanged between Paris and Berlin ; the King 
of Prussia, at Ems, turned his back on the importunate 
French Ambassador, and the two greatest nations of 
Continental Europe Hew at each other's throats. Ye 1 ; 
we know that the titanic struggle would have taken 


place, sooner or later, even had there been no Hohen- 
zollern Prince on the look-out for a crown, and no vacant 
throne of Spain for him to aspire to. The German 
Empire had to be built up, and " blood and iron " were to 
cement and support its foundations. The Second French 
Empire was tottering from internal corruption a war, if 
successful, appeared to be its last chance, and the die 
had to be cast. 

Even so was it with China and Japan. Had there 
been no civil strife raging in Korea, and endangering 
the important commercial interests Japanese intelligence, 
industry, and energy had created in that country ; had 
China not sent the troops asked for by the Korean King 
to keep him on his shaky throne ; had such a state as 
Korea never existed, the struggle between China and 
Japan would still have taken place, sooner or later, and 
the result would have been the same. 

Many, and widely divergent, are the other reasons that 
have been alleged for the conflict in the Far East reasons 
ranging from such a magnificently vast scheme as the 
contemplated annexation of the whole Chinese Empire, 
sans phrase, by Japan, to the paltry, childish desire, 
attributed to the Japanese, to see how their new and 
expensive toys their spick-and-span cruisers, their great 
Armstrong and Canet guns, their torpedos, their quick- 
firing ordnance, and their long-range rifles would work in 
actual warfare ; in fact, an infantile craving to " see the 
wheels go round." Between these two extremes lay 
various less fantastic, or less puerile, surmises. The one 
that was most generally accepted, and still counts numerous 
supporters, found the cause of the conflict in the alleged 
embarrassments of the Japanese Cabinet, seeking in a 
desperate warlike venture abroad relief from an intolerable 
political crisis at home, just as Occidental governments 
had done, time after time, when confronted by an unruly 
legislature, or a populace on the verge of revolution. The 
sorry spectacle presented, just before the war, by the 


brand-new Japanese Parliament, rife with disorderly 
"scenes" although these never approached in violence 
the scandalous riots that have disgraced the French 
Chamber of Deputies, the House of Representatives at 
Washington, or that legislative bear-garden, the Austrian 
Reichsrath certainly lent an air of probability to this 

The truth is that the struggle for which both the 
Empires had been preparing, each in its own characteristic 
way, for years, was inevitable. China had, long ago, 
determined to seek the first favourable opportunity of 
reducing Japan, the "Upstart Nation of Dwarfs," as she 
called her, to that condition of vassalage Chinese tradition 
had assigned as Japan's proper position. The Chinese 
official classes, blind votaries of stagnation, gloated over 
the disastrous fate in store for "the Dwarfs" who had, 
in their opinion, turned traitors to the Yellow Race, those 
" Monkeys " who strutted about in Western dress, and 
who had the audacity to prosper in their imitation of the 
ways of the hated " Western Foreign Devils." As far 
back as 1882, the famous Li Hung-chang had memorialised 
the Throne, advising the postponement of the invasion of 
Japan, the plan for which the Emperor had "graciously 
ordered him to prepare," until the Chinese navy could be 
brought to a high condition of strength and efficiency, 
"meanwhile," wrote the wily old Viceroy, "carefully con- 
cealing our object" until a convenient opportunity of 
"bringing about a rupture with Japan." Whilst biding 
her time, China carried on, for years, without intermission, 
a war of needle-pricks against Japan, slighting, baffling, 
snubbing the Power which had set the whole Yellow Race 
the shockingly subversive example of reform and progress, 
and which had lit a torch the rays of which might some 
day shine across the sea and dazzle the hordes of sluggish 

The knowledge of China's malevolent intentions, the 
accumulated resentment of years at various times re- 


pressed, with the greatest difficulty, by wise statesmen 
awaiting the right moment for action these were, un- 
doubtedly, potent factors in causing Japan to draw the 
sword against China. Another strong incentive lay in 
the necessity for Japan, a thickly - populated country, 
mountainous and narrow, of finding a ready market in 
China for the products of her rapidly-rising industries, 
that give employment to those whom agriculture or the 
fisheries cannot support. The Treaty of Peace of Shimo- 
noseki (1895) opened new ports in China to the trade 
of the victorious Japanese, but also, owing to the opera- 
tion of the Most-Favoured-Nation Clause in the various 
treaties with China, to the trade of the world a fact too 
often ignored by Occidentals when considering the results 
of the war. 

Of the manifold influences which were at work to 
impel the Japanese towards the struggle, none was more 
important than the necessity, often painfully impressed on 
Japanese statesmen, of convincing the fiery spirits amongst 
the Shi-zoku,* and especially those of the great fighting 
Clan of feudal times, the men of Satsuma, that the new 
civilisation had not emasculated the race. The war con- 
clusively proved to them, and to the thousands whose 
hearts still hankered, in secret, after the old order of 
things, that Western science and foreign ways had not, 
as they feared, diminished the true Spirit of Old Japan. 
The old "Yamato Damashi-i" burnt as brightly as ever 
in Japanese hearts. The Japanese sword was still keen, 
the Japanese arm still strong, the Japanese heart still 
fearless. All was well with Japan ; the new civilisation 
had not tarnished her honour. It had added lustre to her 
glory. Henceforward the new civilisation would have no 
opponents, would cause no regrets. 

The wise men who guided the destinies of Japan fore- 
saw what a war, which they knew must be successful, 

* Formerly called Samurai; the Gentry, who formed the governing and 
military class in Old Japan. 


would mean 4 as regards their country's position in the 
world. With that quick, sharp perception of what is 
insincere that is peculiarly their own, they had seen 
through the sham of Occidental international ethics. For 
thirty years the West had been urging the Japanese on- 
ward in their adaptation of Occidental civilisation, ever 
replying to their claim to be treated as equals : " Not 
yet ! Go on building railways, erect more schools, establish 
new hospitals. Study, work, trade, become learned, peace- 
ful, rich in one word, a civilised nation and we will 
admit you willingly into our midst on an equal footing." 

The Japanese took the advice to heart. They built 
railways in every direction, established a national educa- 
tional system second to none, opened hospitals that aroused 
the admiration of foreign medical men ; they studied, they 
worked, they traded ; the nation became well-educated, 
peaceful, and wonderfully prosperous. But all this was of 
no avail. Until Britain, to her everlasting honour, gave 
the others a noble lead by the Treaty Revision whioh 
admitted Japan into the comity of nations as an equal, 
the Powers had continued to treat her like an interest- 
ing, clever child, not to be taken seriously for a moment. 
Japan went to war, she conquered by land and sea, and 
hey, presto ! the scene changed. The great, civilised 
Christian Powers stood in a line, bowing courteously to the 
victor and exclaiming in unison : " Here is a nation that 
has cruisers and guns, and torpedos and long-range rifles, 
and that knows how to use them so as to kill a great number 
of people with small loss to herself. Truly, this is a great 
nation and one worthy of our respect ! " 

In a few months, " frivolous, superficial, grotesquely 
imitative, little Japan" had become "the predominant 
factor in the Far East" "a nation to be reckoned with 
in all future international combinations affecting Eastern 
Asia" "a rising naval Power," and "the modern Jack 
the Giant-Killer." The statesmen and the warriors of 
Japan smiled grimly as they noted the complete success 


of their efforts to prove Japan a nation. They had 
rightly gauged the relative value of the triumphs of peace 
and of those of war in the estimation of the great Powers 
of the West. Governments that had, in the past, treated 
Japan with scant courtesy now seriously considered the 
question of an alliance with her. Other Great Powers 
paid her the almost equally great compliment of looking 
upon her as a dangerous rival, and formed a monstrous, 
unnatural coalition for the purpose of coercing her. Friends 
and foes alike had begun to grasp the changed situation. 
The New Far East was born. 

Those British statesmen who, of all people, should 
have foreseen its birth, and the circumstances surrounding 
it, were either totally misinformed, or did not sufficiently 
believe in the little knowledge they had to base a firm, 
consistent policy on it. In the following pages an attempt 
will be made to impart a knowledge of the truth about 
the New Far East in some of its principal aspects, especially 
those in which the nations of the West, and particularly 
the English-speaking peoples, are the most interested. 

The knowledge I shall strive to impart will, I hope, 
facilitate the appreciation of the enormously important 
problems now being worked out in Eastern Asia. I trust 
the information thus conveyed will throw r some light on 
the conditions under which many millions of our fellow 
men live, the spirit which moves them, and their relations 
with Occidental nations. 

Thus may the Reader, I sincerely hope, be placed in 
a position to form a sound judgment in the matter, and to 
contribute a valuable share to a public opinion based not, 
as too often, on ignorance, passion, and prejudice, but on 
knowledge, justice, and common-sense. 


THE wayward climate of the British Isles plays strange 
pranks. To compensate for blizzards in June, it occa- 
sionally vouchsafes us a few days of sunshine in November. 
This was the case on the southern and western coasts of 
England in the first week of November, 1893. The 
brilliancy of the sun's rays, glistening on the blue waters 
of Plymouth Sound, phenomenally calm for the time of 
the year, seemed to the good people of the Three Towns 
in the nature of a special compliment to the brave tars 
from far Japan sojourning in their midst, the officers 
and crew of His Imperial Japanese Majesty's ship 
Yoshino* lying off Plymouth. I have good cause to re- 
member those sunny days, when our English November 
assumed, for the nonce, the brightness and crispness of 
the atmosphere of Japan at the same season, for I was, 
during that glorious week, enjoying the delightful hos- 
pitality of my friend Captain Y. Kawara, who had recently 
relinquished his position as Naval Attache to the Imperial 
Japanese Legation in London on his appointment to the 
command of the Yoshino, at that time the swiftest cruiser 
in the world. Every moment spent on board of that 
splendid warship was full of interest, not only to the 
naval student, who saw in her the combination, in the 
highest degree, of all the qualities required in the ideal 

* Yoshino is the name of a mountainous tract in Yamato, celebrated 
in Japanese history and poetry, and renowned for its cherry-trees, whose 
delicate, pale pink blossoms are a vision of beauty in late April. 


first-class cruiser of the period, but also to the civilian 

The ship was the latest expression of what Elswick 
could do. No vessel had ever left that celebrated Tyneside 
" Cradle of Fleets " accompanied by greater hopes of good 
service, and the splendid work done, in the war with 
China, by the Yoshino fully realised the anticipations of 
her well-wishers. But the men who had navigated her 
from the Tyne to Plymouth, and who, but a few months 
later brought glory to her flag the men were the greatest 
of the many wonders of the Yoshino. Of their skill and 
daring as seamen, of their capacity in the management ot 
complicated machinery and of accurately stoked furnaces, 
of their excellence as gunners and as torpedo-men, their 
courage and their coolness under fire, I need not speak ; 
they are writ large in the history of the war. What was 
most noticeable at Plymouth was their exemplary conduct, 
afloat and ashore. The courteous, polished gentlemen 
under whose orders they served had good reason to feel 
proud of their crew, whose gentle manners and polite 
speech won golden opinions from all who came in contact 
with them during their stay in English waters. "A ship's 
company of gentlemen ! " was the expression heard on all 
sides, and one might add : " a ship's company of artists," 
for, on the third of November, when the Birthday of His 
Imperial Majesty was celebrated on board with all the 
pomp and solemnity for which the deck of a great war- 
ship offers such fitting surroundings, the Yoshino was the 
scene of an exhibition of works of art, made by her crew, 
entirely out of the ship's stores (all duly restored, un- 
injured, to their respective uses on the morrow). All the 
innate artistic feeling, the wonderful manual dexterity, the 
exquisitely delicate touch, the eye for colour, the imitative 
skill, the sly sense of humour, which are such truly 
Japanese characteristics, had been brought to bear on 
the objects formed by the deft fingers, hardened though 
they were by the seaman's or the stoker's rough work, 


out of such unpromising materials as rope's-ends and 
spun-yarn, coloured paper and bunting, engineers' span- 
ners and carpenters' chisels, and even cooking utensils from 
the galley, coloured rice, split peas, and strings of onions ! 

On the day after this celebration of the Emperor's 
Birthday, towards six o'clock in the evening, the Yos hinds 
trim steam-pinnace rose and fell gently on the wavelets 
off Barbican Pier, in Plymouth Harbour, waiting for the 
"liberty men" who had been given their last run on 
shore on the eve of the ship's departure for Portland Bay, 
where she was to make trial of her torpedo armament 
before sailing for Japan. I had been spending the after- 
noon on shore with a party of the officers, and, as we 
took our seats in the stern-sheets of the pinnace, I 
expressed to one of them the hope that all the men 
would reach the Pier by the appointed time, six o'clock. 
"Our men are very punctual," he said, with a quiet smile, 
pointing to the group, increasing every moment, of sturdy 
little brown sailors, assembling in silence on the quay. 
Presently they began to drop into the boat, one by one, 
each man carrying a small bundle, wrapped in a gay 
coloured handkerchief; bundles neatly made up as only 
Japanese bundles are, and containing the little keepsakes 
they had amassed on shore photographs of local views, 
cigars, little odds and ends, chiefly small domestic labour- 
saving appliances, hair-oil, brushes, maps of England, in 
many cases books, especially illustrated guide-books, and 
in more than one bundle tokens of affection, a hand- 
kerchief or a portrait, testifying to sympathetic relations 
established with some bright-eyed daughter of the West 

Six o'clock boomed from the great clock on shore, and 
the Chief Petty Officer in charge of the "liberty men" 
began to call the roll. Smartly the men answered to 
their names, and when the forty, or thereabout, had 
signified their presence, the report was quietly made : 
" All present 1" The officer by my side smiled again, 


and, as the order was given to "shove off," he gave me 
a look of justifiable pride. I congratulated him sincerely, 
for visions arose before me of far different scenes wit- 
nessed at the embarkation of " liberty men " of other, 
and older, navies, visions of hulking, six-foot Finns, furiously 
drunk, fighting desperately with whole squads of local 
policemen, bringing them by main force to the boat in 
which a calm Russian officer stood, with a steely gleam 
in his eyes foretelling cmel punishment for the unruly on 
the Tsar's ship. My mind recalled other sad scenes of 
a similar nature ; men of almost every nation under the 
sun, clad in the uniform of Uncle Sam's navy, brought, 
helplessly intoxicated, back to their "total abstinence" 
ships ; and French man-of-war's men, hardy fishermen from 
the Brittany coasts, making night hideous with drunken 
uproar, tumbling into the cutter that was to convey them 
to the tender mercies of the Capitaine d'Armes. And I 
thought of the anxious Master-at-Arms on board many a 
Queen's ship, making ready the heavy list of " leave- 
breakers," which is still too often the sequel to a "run 
on shore." 

As the steam-pinnace sped along on her way to the 
Yoshino, I noticed a certain measure of subdued excite- 
ment amongst the Bluejackets. A general and animated 
conversation was being carried on in low tones, and I 
could, now and then, hear my name whispered. At last, 
the Chief Petty Officer evidently gave his assent to some- 
thing that was submitted for his approval, and a bright- 
eyed young Able Seaman, who had evidently been deputed 
to act as spokesman, addressed me, saluting : " Sen-sei 
San* ! My shipmates and 1, being sore perplexed, respect- 

* Sen-sei San, a title of respect used in addressing a scholar, a physician, 
or an elderly man. Frequently employed by Japanese in speaking to a 
foreigner in respectful terms. It may be translated : " Mr. Teacher," or 
"Professor." San is the colloquial contraction of Saina, the usual title of 
respect ; it is affixed to names of persons of both sexes, to nouns indicating 
rank or calling, and is used in ^peaking respectfully even of animals. 



fully beg for your august advice. All the people on shore 
have been very kind to us, and for this we humbly return 
thanks ; but one class of the shore-going folk, although 
they probably meant well, have greatly offended us. The 
people in the back-streets near the Dockyard, especially 
the boys, pointed at us as we passed, calling after us : 
' Hallo 1 John Chinaman 1 ' and ' Chin-chin, Chinaman ! ' 
Now, we respectfully request that you will condescend to 
advise us in this matter. How are we that is, those of 
us who cannot speak English to make the people of the 
next port we put into understand that we are not 70- 
jin* ?" There was a contemptuous ring in his voice as he 
spoke the word To-jin, that meant much to one who 
knew the state of tension in the Far East, where such 
great events were soon to take place. The young Blue- 
jacket saluted again and awaited my answer. It was 
brief. I said : " Boshi-wo tort ! " (" Take your caps 

In a moment every cap was doffed, and a quick look of 
intelligence lit up the Bluejackets' eyes as they saw one 
another's polls, those luxuriant heads of coarse, absolutely 
black, hair, cut to regulation shortness ; in some cases 
clipped so close to the head as to give the appearance 
of a skull-cap of black velvet, but, in most instances, 
carefully brushed and combed on either side of a well- 
defined parting, redolent of hair-oil, "Florida water," and 
other toilet luxuries with which the Bluejacket of every 
nation anoints his locks preparatory to a "run on shore." 
The long breath, causing a sound resembling a sigh, the 
Japanese take when they have just heard something which 
appeals strongly to their feelings, or to their sense of 
reason, was distinctly audible, and showed that my sug- 
gestion was a happy one.f The Bluejackets evidently 

* To-jin, Chinamen. Europeans and Americans are sometimes called, 
by the populace, Ke-To-jin, "Hairy" (or "Bearded") Chinamen. 

f This sound must not be confounded with the long in-drawing of the breath 
that accompanies the low Japanese bow, as a mark of deepest respect. 


considered I had hit upon the readiest means of imme- 
diately distinguishing between the Chinese and the other 
members of the Turanian races of Eastern Asia. The 
Chinaman's shaven pate and the long plait of hair hanging 
down his back or coiled, turban-wise, round his head, for 
convenience during physical exertion are the most notice- 
able, unvarying badges of his nationality. The most 
ignorant loafer in the purlieus of an European sea-port, 
the wildest urchin of its back-streets, knows that the 
"pigtail" is the distinctive mark of the native of the 
Flowery Land. 

The national mode of wearing the hair is, indeed, 
strikingly different amongst the Yellow Peoples of the 
New Far East, and is, in some respects, typical of their 
mental characteristics. Let us consider the appearance of 
three typical yellow men a Japanese, a Chinese, and a 
Korean all three in the prime of early manhood, between 
twenty and thirty years of age, and chosen from the 
ruling classes of their respective nations. The Japanese 
is one of the Shi-zoku, the Military Class, formerly called 
Samurai, and also Bu-ke, who had a monopoly of the 
Bum-bu-no Michi, "the Arts of Literature and of War," in 
Old Japan's feudal times, and who govern New Japan. 
The abolition, in 1871, of the feudal system, and of the 
privileges and immunities enjoyed by the Samurai, the 
wearers of two swords, brought with it the removal of 
the disabilities, amounting almost to a denial of all 
political rights, under which the bulk of the Japanese 
people, those below the Military Class in rank, suffered. 
All Japanese became equal before the law, but the 
governing power remained, virtually, in the same hands, 
and to this day the vast majority of the administrative 
offices, the naval and military commissions, the judicial 
and educational appointments, are held by Shi-zoku, men 
of the old gentry of Japan. 

The Chinese whom we will consider as a type of the 
teeming millions of the Middle Empire also belongs to a 


ruling class ; however his character may differ in par- 
ticular points from that of his compatriot of the masses, 
the leading features are the same. He is what Occidentals, 
clinging to the old Portuguese designation, call a " Man- 
darin," one of the " Literati," the men who, by dint of 
infinite mental labour, have passed a severe competitive 
examination in classical knowledge, perfectly useless, from 
our Western point of view, and have gained degrees which 
alone entitle to appointments in the public service. In 
principle, this system of open competitive examination as 
the sole road to the Civil Service of China is purely 
democratic. With the exception of a few classes of per- 
sons those convicted of crime against the State, actors, 
executioners and others who inflict punishment ordered 
by the law, undertakers, waiters, and body-servants 
and their descendants unto the fourth generation, 
every male Chinese subject may present himself for ex- 
amination as often as he pleases, unless debarred there- 
from in consequence of malpractices at a former attempt.* 
Chinese history, even in quite recent times, is full of 
instances of men, born of very poor and obscure parents, 
rising to the highest posts in the State ; but the fact 
remains that, in China as in every other country, trie 
candidate whose wealth enables him to obtain the assist- 
ance of a skilled tutor the "coach" and the "crammer" 
have flourished for centuries in Far Cathay enters the 
Examination Hall with many chances in his favour. Such 
as his studies of fossilised classics, and the conditions of 
his service, have made him, the Mandarin is China. 
Without his active co-operation, or, at least, his goodwill, 
nothing can ever be brought to a successful issue in the 

* Barbers and their sons were, until recent times, included amongst 
those debarred from competing. This disability was removed by the Emperor 
on the representations of the Governor of Cheh-Kiang, who was induced 
by the powerful Barbers' Guild to plead their cause. Trades' Unions have 
flourished in China from time immemorial. This is but one instance of 
their wide-spreading influence in our days. 


Middle Empire. Hence the Mandarin is pre-eminently 
the Chinese whose character it behoves us to study 
if we would fathom the great problems of the Far 

The Korean who is to serve as a type of the ruling 
class of his country is a Yang-ban, as those are colloqui- 
ally termed who belong to the Nyang-pan, the "Two 
Orders," Civil and Military, forming the aristocracy that 
holds' the people of Korea enthralled. The social fabric 
of Korea has experienced a succession of rude shocks of 
late years, since the regeneration of the decrepit " Hermit 
Kingdom," now raised to the brevet rank of a pinchbeck 
"Empire," was undertaken .by powerful neighbours and 
interested "friends" from far beyond the seas; but the 
one thing that has remained practically unshaken is the 
ascendancy of the Yang-ban, the aristocracy of birth, 
originally an aristocracy of office, who hold every govern- 
ment post of any importance and, with rare exceptions, 
use their predominant position to "grind the faces" of 
the wretchedly poor, down-trodden masses. 

A glance at the three men before us satisfies us as to 
their racial affinity. Differing considerably in minor points, 
their faces yet present a marked family likeness. Although 
the colour of the face varies remarkably in individuals of 
the same race in Japan, in China, and in Korea, running 
through the whole scale of tints, from a clear waxen 
complexion, often with rosy cheeks in childhood and in 
adolescence, to a coppery brown according to the district 
and, still more, to the amount of exposure to the weather 
rendered necessary by the individual's occupation the 
ground-colour is always of a yellowish hue. So striking 
is this peculiarity to Western eyes that we, the White 
(or should it not rather be the Pale Pink ?) Folk, dub 
our fellow men of the Far East "the Yellow Races." 
In stature and in build Japanese, Chinese, and Koreans 
differ greatly. The Japanese are, with notable exceptions, 
a small-sized race, the average height of the men 


5.02 feet being about the same as the average stature of 
European females, and that of the women proportionately 
less. To define the stature and build of the Chinese 
nation is rendered very difficult by the fact of the great 
difference in this respect, and in the matter of colour, and 
of several mental characteristics as well, between the 
natives of Northern and of Southern China. The people 
to the north of Shanghai are, speaking generally, much 
taller and of heavier build than the natives of the 
Southern Provinces. Many of the Northern Chinese are 
fine specimens of well-developed humanity ; some of them 
would be noticeable amongst the tall men of Northern 
Europe and the long-limbed North Americans and Aus- 
tralians, with the advantage of heavier build than is 
usually found amongst the two races last mentioned. 
The stately bearing and dignified, flowing robes' of the 
Northern Chinaman add to the impressiveness of his 
appearance, and make him look taller than he really is. 
Strangely enough, both in Japan and in China, the natives 
of the North are darker than those of the South, a fact 
that would seem to indicate descent from different branches 
of the great Mongolian parent stock. The Korean is, 
often, almost as tall as his cousin of Northern China, 
and is well set-up, robust and stately in his demeanour. 

The Occidental who comes into contact for the first 
time with a number of natives of the Far East generally 
experiences some difficulty in identifying individuals, 
especially amongst the younger men, whose smooth faces 
for beards grow late, and then but sparsely, on Mon- 
golian chins seem to his unaccustomed eye as like one 
another as buttons on a coat. As soon as more frequent 
intercourse with Turanian Orientals has familiarised him 
with their appearance, he begins to note the points of 
divergence in physical conformation, the differences of 
features and of facial expression, which are, however, 
undoubtedly not nearly so numerous as between individuals 
of the same nationality in Europe or in America, where 


the intermingling of races has been taking place for 
centuries to a degree unknown, within historic times, 
amongst the exclusive peoples of Eastern Asia. It is a 
fact, not, I believe, generally known, that the people of 
the Far East, when first coming into communication with 
Occidentals, experience the same difficulty in distinguish- 
ing one white man from another, except by noticing the 
colour of the hair, the trim of the hair worn on the 
face, and the colour and cut of the clothes. A Japanese 
once told me that in the early days of his intercourse 
with foreigners, he experienced the greatest difficulty in 
recognising anyone of his Occidental acquaintances who 
had made any change in his manner of trimming his 
whiskers, or his beard, or who had donned a suit of 
clothes in which he had never seen him before. He 
failed utterly to trace any difference in features between 
smooth-faced men and women, and was thankful, he said, 
that the difference of costume was so marked between 
the sexes, amongst Occidentals, as to save him from many 
an awkward mistake. Fortunately for my Japanese friend, 
he has since so largely widened the circle of his Western 
acquaintances that, far from being unable to identify them, 
he has become quite an expert physiognomist. One 
shudders to think of the mistakes of identity he would 
have made had he first encountered Occidentals in these 
days of "rational" dress for ladies. He would, to a 
certainty, have failed to distinguish the New Woman froir 
the inferior creature, Man. 

Differing notably in stature, in build, in some features, 
and especially in facial expression, Japanese, Chinese, and 
Koreans all have certain strongly-marked physical charac- 
teristics common to the three nations, besides the yellowish 
colour already mentioned. Their kinship as members or 
the Mongolian branch of the great Turanian race is made 
manifest by the shape of their large skulls, with broad, 
prominent cheek-bones, so broad and prominent that the 
skin is stretched tightly across them, over the almost flat 


upper part of the nose, which has hardly any "bridge," 
even those Japanese noses of strikingly aquiline shape, to 
be found amongst the upper classes, especially in Kioto 
and its neighbourhood, beginning to curve much lower 
down than on the " Caucasian," the Semitic, or the 
American-Indian face.* But the colour of the skin and 
the shape of the skull are not the only marks of race 
common to Japanese, Chinese and Koreans. The dark 
eyes of all three are set more or less obliquely, making 
them appear as if they were slightly turned up at the 
outer corners. This peculiarity varies considerably in 
degree. In some individuals the eye is so narrow as to 
appear like a mere oblique slit ; in others, especially 
amongst the Japanese, it is large and full, even prominent, 
but in all cases there is a peculiarity that at once arrests 
attention, although it is, at first, difficult to define. It 
arises from the shape of the rather " puffy " eyelids, 
scantily provided with eye-lashes, and having, apparently, 
no borders, or only a slight indication of a thickening at the 
rims. The "Caucasian" eye-lid has a "hem," the Mongolian 
eye-lid has, as a rule, none ; its edge looks as if slit with a 
knife in the tightly-stretched skin. This smoothness of 
the skin about the eyes accounts, in great measure, for 
the mildness of expression in young Mongolian faces. It 
is, of course, less noticeable when age has begun to 
furrow the countenance with wrinkles, and the relaxation 
of the facial muscles causes the eyes to appear sunken, 
and, consequently, more nearly approaching to the position 
they occupy in the " Caucasian " face. 

That a slight obliquity in the set of the eyes is anything 
but displeasing to our tastes is easily proved by a glance 
at the winsome face of a pretty Japanese girl, the fine, 
dignified countenance of a comely Chinese Mandarin (for 
there are such), or the handsome features of many a 
Korean Yang-ban. We all know the peculiar charm 

* I employ the incorrect term "Caucasian" for want of a better one 
in general use. 


imparted to the faces of some European and American 
women by the possession of piquantly bright eyes "a la 
Chinoise." These slightly slanting eyes are not uncommon 
in our days ; we have only to look at the portraits of 
contemporary beauties by the great English painters of 
the eighteenth century to notice that they existed in 
many instances, and were evidently admired, at a time 
when the craze for everything Chinese had spread from 
Paris to London. 

I have already alluded to the late appearance and 
scanty growth of the Mongolian beard. This applies 
also to the hair on the arms, legs, and chest, far less 
abundant than in the Western races, and often almost 
totally absent. There are, of course, exceptions to this, 
as to every rule. Amongst the Japanese we occasionally 
find men with heavy beards, giving their owners a most 
uncanny appearance in our eyes, accustomed to the sight 
of smooth Mongolian faces, and many Japanese grow, in 
mature years, very creditable moustaches ; still the fact 
remains that such hirsute tendencies are looked upon by 
Mongolians themselves as abnormal. The sight of a 
Japanese with a heavy beard irresistibly reminds his com- 
patriots of the Aino, the hairiest race in the world, the 
non-Mongolian people whom the smooth- skinned Japanese 
drove northwards when they settled in what is now 

I have heard Japanese "chaffing" an abnormal fellow- 
countryman, "bearded like the pard," by suggesting 
that he would, no doubt, soon require a " s<z^/-stick," 
after the fashion of the hairy Aino. The remnants ot 
the hairy race, reduced to about fifteen thousand, inhabit 
the great northern Island of Yezo, and are gradually 
dwindling away, in spite of the humane efforts to re- 
generate them by which the Japanese Government seeks 
to atone for centuries of harsh domination and cruel 
repression. These efforts are mainly directed towards the 
protection of the Aino from their chief vice an inordinate 


indulgence in deep draughts of sak, the intoxicating 
liquor, brewed from rice, which is the national strong 
drink of Japan. The luxuriant moustache and beard that 
cover the greater part of the Aino's face are a hindrance 
to his quaffing the flowing bowl to his heart's content, 
the bushy fringe of black hair that surrounds and covers 
his lips absorbing a considerable quantity of the precious 
liquid, so the ingenious native of Yezo has devised a short 
stick, smooth, sometimes curved, and usually lacquered red, 
with which, held horizontally, he lifts the overhanging 
curtain of hair from his mouth, and thus obtains the full 
enjoyment of the whole contents of the wine-cup. 

One outward racial peculiarity, striking the observer 
at first sight, is common to the people of the three 
nations of the Far East the coarse, almost always 
straight, generally intensely black hair which grows abun- 
dantly on their heads. In the very few cases in which 
the hair of a Turanian Oriental is, before age has bleached 
it, of any colour but black, great pains are taken to 
conceal the abnormity by the use of cosmetics.* Rare cases 
have been known of Japanese and of Chinese whose hair 
was of a reddish-brown, dark brickdust hue, a freak of 
nature they carefully disguised, red hair being associated 
in the Far Eastern mind with drunkenness. According 
to a legend of Chinese origin, popular in Japan, mythical 
beings, called by the Japanese Sho-jo, whose heads are 
covered with manes of scarlet hair, exist at the bottom 
of the sea, where they hold perpetual drunken carousal 
round a huge jar of sake. The red-haired Sho-jo, often 
represented in Japanese works of art, may be lured from 
their submarine haunts, so the legends tell, by jars of 
temptingly placed on the fore-shore, so that when 

* Not all Japanese have absolutely black hair. Owing, probably, to a 
mixture of races in prehistoric times, many have hair of a very dark 
brown colour, softer and finer than the typical Turanian jet-black tresses. 
Women whose hair is of this deep brown hue darken it to the blackness 
of the raven's wing by the use of pomatum. In China, "Albinos" exist^ 
with snow-white hair and pink eyes, but the cases are extremely rare.. 


they have partaken of the "free drink" until helplessly 
intoxicated, they may easily be captured with a view to 
securing their red hair and their blood as materials for 
the preparation of a brilliant scarlet dye. Thus does the 
practical, utilitarian spirit crop up in the most fantastic 
conceptions of the Far Eastern imagination. 

In Japanese everyday life the Sho-jo serve a still more 
practical purpose they are used as " awful examples " when 
parents are impressing on the minds of children the dangers 
that lurk in the safa-botile. So typical of the craving for 
strong drink have the mythical scarlet-haired beings be- 
come, that a species of small fly, which appears to be 
very fond of sake, is called Sho-jo. Appert and Kinoshita, 
in their valuable and compact little handbook for collectors 
of Japanese art-objects, "Ancien Japan" published at Tokio 
in 1888, slily hint the suggestion is more likely to have 
emanated from the French author, a learned Professor in 
the Law College of Tokio, than from his Japanese col- 
laborator, the Chief Librarian of the Imperial University 
of Japan that the myth of the red-haired topers may 
have originated with the first appearance of Anglo-Saxons 
on the China seas. 

In the rare cases where the Far Eastern hair is not 
straight, but has a tendency to be wavy, as much trouble 
is taken to smooth the slight curl out of it as is devoted 
by Occidental ladies to obtaining just the opposite result. 
Hair with a wave, or a "kink," in it is regarded by the 
masses, in some parts of Japan, as connected with 
immoral ideas, a belief which does not prepossess them 
favourably towards the first curly-headed Occidental 
whom they meet. 

If there be a Philosophy of Clothes, there is in the 
Far East, assuredly, a Philosophy of Male Hair-dressing. 
The costumes of the three typical men before us do not 
differ as widely as their modes of wearing their jet-black 
hair. Let us consider their apparel, and we will find 
that it is, in all three cases, becoming to their stature, 



build, and facial type, and that it imparts a certain 
stateliness to their bearing, a marked dignity to their 


The dress of the Japanese civilian Shi-zoku, as worn out 
of doors in all occupations which do not render the 
adoption of European garments necessary or advisable, is 
simple in cut, sombre in colour, neat to a degree, and in 
excellent taste. The wide-sleeved silken gown, or Kimono, 
of some quiet, dark colour, in very narrow vertical stripes 
divided by black lines, showing at the breast, where the 
left side is crossed over the right, the edge of an under- . 
garment of precisely similar cut, perhaps the edges of 
two such under-gowns, the one worn next to the body, 
the ju-ban (colloquially, ji-baii), usually of plain silk, 
these edges of under-robes showing in a manner that re- 
calls the superimposed waistcoats of a past generation in 
Europe. Over the kimono, the wide hakama, commonly 
translated by "trousers," but really a divided skirt, of 
sober-coloured silk probably of some bluish-grey tint with 
narrow vertical black stripes, strikingly similar to the 
"striped Angola trouserings" of the fashionable London 
tailors. The obi, or girdle, of thick silk, four yards long 
and two and three-quarter inches wide, is smoothly and 
evenly wound about the waist. Over all, the haori, or 
overcoat, of stiff, black corded silk, tied across the breast 
by two silken cords slung in a graceful loop, the back of the 
coat, just below the collar, and the sleeves bearing the 
wearer's crest, his mon, beautifully embroidered in white 
silk within a circle of about the size of a shilling.* 

* The haori, "as now worn," reaches to below the knee. Its silk lining, 
often costly, is of a well-chosen colour, such as russet-brown or "old gold," 
with a beautiful woven pattern. During the war against China, and imme- 
diately after it, linings decorated with representations of victories and 
incidents of conspicuous gallantry were very popular in Tokio. 

The mon is sometimes worn in five places those mentioned above and 


These garments compose a costume which proclaims in 
its tasteful simplicity that it is the dress of a gentleman of 
refinement. And, indeed, the impression is confirmed by 
closer examination ; it is borne out by every outward 
sign, from the crown of the hatless head to the small, 
well-shaped feet, still free from the painful deformities 
caused by the irrational foot-gear of Western civilisation, 
and encased in the most comfortable, hygienic covering 
imaginable, the soft, strong-soled socks, generally white, 
called tabi, which have a separate compartment for the 
big toe. This allows the big toe and the one next to 
it to have a firm grasp of the thick, padded loop, often 
covered with ribbed velvet, blue or grey, that is the 
only attachment to the foot of the straw sandal, the zori, 
worn in dry weather and for walking on smooth ground, 
or of the geta, the wooden clog commonly used to keep 
the soles of the feet dry in the very damp climate on 
roads which are often rivers of slush. These pattens 
add a few inches to the small stature of the Japanese 
gentleman, just as the loose cut and wide sleeves, used 
as pockets, of his robes and coat add breadth to his 
rather narrow shoulders. Had constant physical training 
in the naval or military service developed his muscles, 
and were he serving with the colours in any capacity, 
we would see him in uniform, Japanese officers being 
too proud of " the Emperor's coat " to be seen in 
public, in their own country, in " mufti " ; but the Shi- 
zoku whose appearance we are considering is a civilian, 
whose actual military training (for every Japanese is, 
theoretically, at least, subject to the law of Universal 
Naval or Military Service) has not been long enough to 
counteract the evil results of generations of kneeling, 

on each breast, but this, as well as the size of the crest, is subject to the 
fluctuations of fashion, more numerous in New Japan than at any period 
of the nation's history. 

The costume here described is modified according to the season, as 
will be pointed out later on. 


stooping ancestry. The normal Japanese position, equivalent 
to our sitting, is a squatting on the heels, practised from 
babyhood, which has the one advantage that it keeps 
the feet warm in cold weather, but which forces the body 
into an unhealthy attitude, and has resulted, in the course 
of centuries, in producing the disproportionate figure of 
the modern Japanese of the upper classes, the trunk too 
long in comparison with the legs, the shoulders too 
narrow and the chest too flat. Amongst the working 
classes, whose labour entails much standing and walking, 
the body is much more symmetrical, and the muscular 
development, particularly in the loins and the lower 
limbs, is often remarkable, especially in the case of 
"coolies," jin-riki-sha drawers, and fishermen. 

The Japanese- gentleman has been described as hatless. 
Would that this were always true, or that, at all events, 
when he feels the necessity of a covering for his head, 
lie would wear one of the various shapes of shady, light, 
and cool hats, of straw or of split and plaited bamboo, 
used in summer by the labouring classes and wayfarers, 
the kind most in favour amongst them being an inverted 
bowl, or basin, with a light inner rim fitting round the 
head, on the principle of the "sun-helmets" used by 
Europeans in the tropics, a perfectly rational, hygienic 
hat ! Unfortunately, his natural good taste seems to fail 
him, unaccountably, at times, and he sees no incongruity 
in wearing, with his graceful, dignified, silken costume, 
any sort of Western head-gear, from the jaunty " Hom- 
burg hat," of grey or brown felt, with a "complimentary 
mourning" band, or of straw, with its cleft crown, or 
the hard, low-crowned "bowler," to the straw hat of the 
Occidental boating-man, and even sad to relate ! to that 
abomination of modern Britain the shapeless cloth " stable- 
cap," with its peak of the same material, or sometimes, 
more hideous still, the double-peaked, ear-flapped, "fore- 
and-aft" cap of sad-coloured cloth. If he be not always 
hatless, he is certainly without gloves, so that we have an 


opportunity of admiring his small, delicately-formed hands, 
with their slender, supple fingers whose pliancy is cul- 
tivated, in childhood and youth, by the school-boy habit 
of twisting soft paper into tough string whilst poring over 
the lesson-book fingers that can deftly handle the writing- 
brush or the eating-sticks, and that are kept soft and clean, 
with carefully-trimmed nails. Small and well-shaped hands 
and feet are characteristic of the Turanian races, but no- 
where are they more noticeable than in Japan, where 
the roughest labour does not seem to obliterate the good 
shape of the extremities. It may seem a matter of small 
importance, but a moment's observation of the hands of 
the Occidental working-classes, and even, truth to tell, of 
many above them in the social scale, will give an idea of 
the aesthetic satisfaction to be derived from intercourse 
with a nation possessing beautiful hands and, high and 
lowly, keeping them perfectly clean. 

The Japanese, as a nation, keep their bodies clean, not by 
way of devotional ablutions, nor from the hygienic reasons 
that drive the Englishman of the upper and middle classes 
into the invigorating, but hardly cleansing, matutinal cold 
" tub " ; rich and poor alike, they boil themselves for so 
it seems to the Occidental, unaccustomed to a bath at a 
temperature of about 110 Fahrenheit once, at least, daily, 
merely for the personal satisfaction of being clean. All 
honour to them for it 1 Would that a similar spirit of 
cleanliness could be infused into the millions of Occidentals 
(not to speak of the semi-Oriental millions of Russia, "the 
Black People," as they are called from their abominable 
state of dirt) who are still to be counted amongst "the 
Great Unwashed ! " It is not only in the lazy southern 
countries that we find this repulsive state of bodily filthi- 
ness amongst the bulk of the labouring masses. A walk 
through one of our English, or Scottish, manufacturing 
towns, or a Welsh village, a peep into an Irish cabin, a 
stroll down a back-street within a stone's throw of London's 
most fashionable thoroughfares, will reveal horrors of 


personal tmcleanliness that sicken the heart. Go into the 
thick of a British crowd on a hot day ; the experiment 
will not encourage repetition. In a Continental crowd 
the effluvia would be still worse. In Japan, you may 
mix freely with the throng in the crowded streets in 
sultry weather and your olfactory sense will not be 
offended. Poorly clad the people may be, in some cases 
wearing a minimum of clothing, but patched and mended, 
washed out into faded blue, or dusty from travel, as their 
scanty clothes may be, they cover bodies that are 
scrupulously clean. 

The Japanese gentleman's clean, gloveless hand holds 
a small and simple fan, of paper and bamboo ; not one 
of those garish articles the bad taste of Western purchasers 
compels Japanese craftsmen to produce for export by hun- 
dreds of thousands annually. No Japanese would cool 
himself, or shield his head from the sun's rays (a frequent 
use of the fan), with one of the fans too large, too bright, 
the design badly printed from a worn-out block that 
Occidental ladies use without hesitation, and even exhibit, 
as artistic decorations, on the walls of their rooms. The 
Shi-zoku's ogi, or folding-fan (not to be confounded with 
the uchi-wa, the stiff, non-folding fan, or hand-screen) is 
beautifully made of stout mulberry-tree paper, with a fine, 
glossy, parchment-like surface, and of carefully - selected 
split bamboo ; it is light and very durable, and it closes 
with a sharp click testifying to the accuracy with which 
its faces are pasted on to the frame. Its decoration is 
severely simple ; usually a mere suggestion of clouds, in 
pale gold and silver powdering on the colourless surface, 
or a delicate little sketch in sepia a scene from classic 
literature, or an impression of romantic landscape, frequently 
with the addition of a short poem, a ski, or ode in the 
Chinese style, or an uta, purely Japanese, written with 
consummate art by the brush of some renowned master 
of caligraphy. When the fan is not carried in the hand, 
it is stuck into the girdle, or into the bosom of the gown. 


According to the season, the Japanese gentleman carries 
a paper parasol, an umbrella, or a walking-stick. The 
paiasol is of purely Japanese design, now too well known 
to need description; the umbrella is, sad to tell, more 
frequently a local imitation of the most ungainly form of 
the cheap Occidental article than one of the light and 
graceful umbrellas of oiled paper and split bamboo still 
used by the masses. These purely Japanese umbrellas, 
that add a luminous touch of colour to many a village 
scene, the sun shining through their oiled paper surface 
as they rest before the houses, spread out to dry after a 
shower, are being gradually superseded by the imitation 
of the heavier, clumsy, but more durable, European pattern.* 
Japan is the gainer thereby, industrially and financially, 
her umbrellas made in the Western style, of silk, and, 
more generally, of cotton, being exported by hundreds of 
thousands to all parts of Asia, especially to China and 
to India, at such low, though remunerative, prices that 
they have virtually driven the British and the German 
article from the market. As for the Japanese paper 
parasol, it is exported to Europe and to America in very 
considerable quantities (although India is by far the largest 
buyer, China coming next). A Japanese writer on the 
Foreign Trade of his country tersely states that the 
demand in Western lands arises from the fact that in 
those parts "the parasol is used to adorn the front of 
stoves." How the Japanese sense of incongruity is tickled 
at the sight of the unexpected uses to which Occidentals 
put certain Far Eastern wares may be imagined if we 
reflect on the number of parasols, made in Japan, covering 

* The Japanese umbrella is called Kasa, the same word being used to 
designate the Japanese hat, which resembles the native umbrella in shape. 
The umbrella constructed on the Occidental principle is called Komori-gasa, 
" bat -umbrella," from the analogy of its structure to that of the bat's wing, 
which is said to have also served as the prototype of the ogi, or folding-fan. 
The Japanese parasol is called hi-gasa, "sun-umbrella." It will be remarked 
that, by the operation of the Japanese etymological rule called Nigori, the 
k of hasa in the latter part of compound words softens into g. 


the yawning gaps of British fire-places every summer, 
the innumerable safo-ciips and handle-less tea-cups used 
as smokers' ash-trays, or as pin-trays on ladies' dressing- 
tables, the tsuba, or sword-guards, converted into Menu- 
stands, and the whisks of split bamboo, originally intended 
to make the powdered tea froth in the solemn and aesthetic 
rites of the ceremonial tea-drinking the cha-no-yu, still 
practised by the devotees of art and of antiquities sent 
by thousands to America and to British dependencies to 
be twirled in mixing the ingredients of the seductive 
" cocktail." 

If the Japanese gentleman carry a walking-stick a 
fashion increasingly prevalent it will be of one of the 
numerous ornamental woods of the country, of rattan, or, 
more probably, of smooth, glossy bamboo, cunningly carved 
by one of those modest craftsmen whose work preserves 
to this day many of the best features of the glorious art 
of Old Japan. The same sober taste, the same delicate 
fancy, the feeling for appropriate decoration, the marvellous 
manual dexterity, are all manifested in every adjunct to 
the Shi-zoku's costume. The short pipe (kiseni), all of 
metal delicately chased and inlaid, or with bamboo stem 
and metal bowl and mouthpiece, that hangs on his right 
hip, in a case attached to a tobacco-pouch, is a dainty 
thing, its diminutive size pleading for moderation, for its 
bowl, scarcely larger than the cup of an acorn, holds only 
a tiny pellet of the golden-hued, or light brown, silky 
tobacco, cut to the fineness of human hair, and even 
much finer, and affords but three whiffs. The tobacco- 
pouch (tabako-ire), which may be of any suitable material, 
is a work of art, alike by reason of its simple shape, its 
fitness for its purpose, and its tasteful decoration. 

As to the netsuk y the toggle that keeps pipe-case 
and pouch fastened to the girdle by means of the silken 
cord that runs through it, has it not conquered the whole 
artistic world ? For from St. Petersburg to Sydney, and 
from San Francisco to Budapest, art-lovers bend admiringly 


over drawers and trays full of these exquisite little carvings, 
these " masterpieces in miniature," a collection of which forms 
an epitome of Japanese taste and patient skill, of the flora 
and fauna, the customs and the folk-lore, the poetry and 
the humour, the history and the superstitions of the Far 
East. Nowadays, the pipe and the pouch are often left 
at home ; a case, equally artistic in design, filled with 
Japanese cigarettes, is carried instead, and the number of 
Japanese of the upper classes who do not, as they say, 
"drink tobacco" is increasing, some of their plrysicians 
having inveighed strongly against smoking. 

The bulk of the nation, however, are still confirmed 
votaries of the small-bowled pipe, which is enjoyed by 
both sexes, and complaints are rife in the Japanese press 
that smoking is becoming increasingly prevalent amongst 
the boys attending the Elementary and the Secondary, or 
Middle, Schools. It is urged that the introduction of 
cheap cigarettes of native manufacture is responsible for 
this, as they render indulgence in the habit easier for the 
boys, and more difficult for the teachers to detect, avoiding 
the first cost, intrinsically small, but still considerable for 
the average Japanese boy to defray, of the pipe, its case, 
and the tobacco-pouch, such paraphernalia offering, Besides, 
greater chances of detection and confiscation. Smoking, 
which has become such a thoroughly national habit, was 
introduced into Japan by the Portuguese about 1600. It 
was, at first, prohibited, under the most severe penalties, 
by the Government, but its attractions prevailed over the 
fear of punishment. People indulged in it by stealth, 
after the fashion of modern schoolboys, grave adults 
hiding under the arches of bridges to snatch the fearful 
delight of a whiff of the foreign herb, whose name, tabako, 
is one of the astonishingly few words of European origin 
adopted by the Japanese after more than fifty years of 
active intercourse with the Portuguese and the Spaniards 
in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, a period in 
which Christianity had spread into every part of the 


Empire and numbered a million of converts. The fascina- 
tion of tobacco ultimately proved too strong for the 
authorities to counteract ; they withdrew the prohibition, 
cautiously and gradually, permitting, in 1651, smoking out- 
of-doors, and ultimately removing all restrictions. 

In Old Japan, that is prior to the Great Change in 
1868, the Samurai carried, hanging from his girdle, besides 
the pipe in its case and the tobacco-pouch, another product 
of native art-work which has been pronounced by some 
eminent experts to illustrate the combination of all the 
best qualities of Japanese art in their most complete ex- 
pression. This was the i?i-rd, a nest of little compartments, 
elliptical in shape, fitting one on top of the other with 
the most accurate nicety, the whole set, with its lid, con- 
nected by a cord, or cords, and forming a small, more or 
less flattened, cylinder, slung from the girdle in the same 
manner as the pipe-case and pouch, the cord running 
through a carved netsukt, or toggle, which, once passed 
through the girdle, prevented the cord, and its appendages, 
from slipping out. The in-ro was, generally, of thin wood, 
lacquered and decorated ; and it may be truly said that 
on no other article for personal use have the Japanese 
bestowed adornment with more loving care, with more 
exquisite taste, or with greater technical skill. Hence the 
value of the in-ro in the eyes of the art-collector all over 
the world. The dainty little compartments of this constant 
companion of the Samurai contained various medicines 
an emetic, a styptic, the latter of great utility in days 
when every gentleman wore two swords, keen as razors, 
and an angry word was often followed by a sweeping cut 
and it is, therefore, generally described as a "medicine- 
box." It was really, as its name implies, a "seal-box" 
as much as a medicine-case ; for, besides specifics, and, 
sometimes, some perfume in solid form, it contained the 
owner's seal, or in, and the vermilion colouring - matter 
for the impression, the seal in the Far East being really 
a stamp. Throughout the East, both Far and Near, the 


seal, or stamp, is of great importance, binding its owner 
legally, as a signature does in the West. Hence the 
necessity for carrying it constantly about the person. 

The Shi-zoku of the present time has his seal always 
with him, engraved, as in days of yore, with his name 
in the simple, archaic Chinese ideograms used throughout 
the Far East for seals, for inscriptions on monuments, and 
for decorative purposes ; and he also carries the vermilion 
colouring -matter, in a little, flat, round box, made, like 
the seal, generally of ivory, but they are no longer encased 
in an in-ro. They are kept in an oblong pocket-book, or 
kami-irt, if that may be called a "pocket-book" which 
is carried by a man who has no pockets, in our sense of 
the word. The capacious recesses of his wide sleeves and 
the bosom of his kimono serve the Shi-zoku as pockets, 
but the kami-irt is, usually, securely placed between the 
girdle and the gown, in front. It is a strong, serviceable 
article, of embossed leather, of strong silken brocade, or 
of one of those wonderful paper imitations of leather, or 
of crape, in which the Japanese excel. Whatever its 
material, its decoration is, to a certainty, appropriate and 
artistic, and its tiny metal clasp, probably, a thing of 

This pocket-book contains not only the seal and colour- 
ing-matter and, as its name, kami-ir6, "paper-wallet," 
implies, a flattened roll of soft, smooth, thin, but strong 
paper it also holds medicine, not, however, of the kind 
that was carried in the in-ro of days gone by. In the 
compartments of that dainty little work of art were to be 
found, besides the ordinary, and usually efficient, emetic 
and styptic, some of the choicest remedies of that fantastic 
pharmacopoeia, borrowed, with its system of medicine, by 
Old Japan from Older China. To find parallels to the 
ingredients composing these marvellous remedies, still 
deemed infallible by millions of the modem Chinese and 
Koreans, we must go back to the gruesome recipes bt 
mediaeval Europe. Of the four hundred and forty-two 


specifics enumerated in the Chinese pharmacopoeia, many 
are compounded from such extraordinary substances as the 
dried skins of red-spotted lizards, human milk, stag's antlers, 
the shavings of rhinoceros-horns (an ingredient of the 
far-famed "Rhinoceros Pills," warranted to cure "tight- 
ness of the chest, gnashing of the teeth, depression of 
spirits," and other ailments too numerous to mention), 
asbestos, and roasted and ground-up tortoise-shell. The 
ingredients of these loathsome drugs may induce a pitying 
smile, but the advertisements which have, for centuries, 
proclaimed, in bold Chinese ideograms, their universal 
curative powers, bear a strange likeness to the familiar 
announcements that inform us, from the pages of our 
newspapers, the hoardings in our streets, and the sign- 
boards in our fields, that " Cureall's Great Lung Pills are 
the Best," and that one may practically defy disease 
by using one box of Quack's Ointment. The universal 
medicine carried by the Shi-zoku of to-day is not mon- 
strously compounded, but, as in the case of the old 
specifics, practical omnipotence is claimed for it, and with 
some show of reason. It is, indeed, a sovereign remedy 
to alleviate most troubles, consisting, as it does, of a 
number of specimens of Japan's coinage, admirably struck 
at the Imperial Mint at Osaka, and some notes of the 
Bank of Japan. 

I have said that the Shi-zoku has no pockets in his 
garments, but, of late years, something very like one has 
been introduced into the obi, or girdle. By sewing up a 
part of one of its folds, a safe receptacle is formed for the 
watch, probably of Japanese manufacture, the chain of 
which of silver, of bronze, or of a combination of links of 
the various alloys so skilfully blended and coloured by 
the metal-workers of Japan just shows an inch or two 
of its length, with some small, cunningly-wrought pendant 
attached, hanging over the upper edge of the obi. 

Two other articles, the Shi-zoku s constant companions, 
are essentially things of New Japan the silken handker- 

" CHOP-STICKS: 1 6 1 

chief and the match-box. The handkerchief has almost 
entirely superseded, amongst the upper classes, the squares 
of soft, but tough, paper that have been in use in Japan, 
from time immemorial, for the purposes for which we 
carry a pocket-handkerchief. These squares of paper, 
folded into a flattened roll, were formerly carried in the 
wallet, already described, the name of which was, in those 
days, hana-gami-bukuro, "nose-paper-case," and paper is 
still carried in it, though no longer for use in blowing, or 
wiping, the nose. The masses still use "nose-paper," 
hana-gami, the squares that have done duty being folded 
up small and deposited in the sleeve, which is the real 
Japanese pocket, until, on reaching home, they are thrown 
into the receptacle for waste paper, akin to the British 
dust-bin, but with this advantage, that it is cleared of its 
contents every morning by the Kami-kudzu-hiroi, the 
Japanese counterpart of the Parisian chiffonnier. 

This humble toiler, clad in patched garments of washed- 
out blue cotton, a kerchief of the same material bound 
over the lower part of the face, to keep the dust out of 
mouth and nostrils, does not carry a hook, like the French 
rag-picker, but a pair of bamboo sticks, used as tongs, 
with a dexterity the Japanese owe to their manipulation, 
at every meal, of the slender eating-sticks, the hashi, 
better known to us by their Pidjin - English name as 
" C/20/>-sticks." Throughout the Far East food is invari- 
ably conveyed to the mouth by means of these little 
sticks, similar to the longer of the crochet-hooks of the 
West in length and thickness, daintily held by the first 
two fingers and thumb of the right hand. Their constant 
use has made Chinese, Japanese and Koreans so expert 
that when they pick up a small article, too minute to be 
easily grasped with the fingers, or that they, for some 
reason or other, do not care to touch, they often seize it 
with a pair of sticks, where we would use tongs or 
pincers. Thus the Japanese artisan sometimes picks up 
the most minute parts of his work with two tiny sticks ; 


in the hibachi, the brazier over which the Japanese warm 
their hands in winter (it warms little else), and at the 
kitchen-stove, the hi-bashi, two slender iron rods, held in 
the same way as " Chop-sticks," replace our poker and 
tongs ; the tabako-bon, or smoking-tray, one of the most 
important pieces of furniture in the house, often has its 
pair of metal has hi, wherewith the smoker may stir up the 
embers in the little fire-bowl containing the glowing charcoal 
to light his, or her, pipe. 

The Kami-kudzu-hiroi, who picks up scraps of paper 
and unconsidered trifles with his pair of bamboo sticks, 
and throws them into his basket, is, generally, one of the 
Eta, that class of mysterious origin, who were considered 
as outcasts in Old Japan, earning their livelihood by 
exercising callings that would have defiled any other 
Japanese occupations involving contact with dead bodies, 
human or animal, or otherwise looked upon as degrading. 
They were, and to a great extent still are, the under- 
takers, the grave-diggers, the executioners, the slaughterers, 
and the tanners of Japan, the cobblers who mend the 
geta, or clogs, and the gatherers of waste-paper and of 
refuse of all kinds. They had no political rights; they, 
and the miserable class of beggars, still lower in the social 
scale, the Hi-nin (literally : " Not-human "), hardly had 
a right to their lives, even if they succeeded, by their 
industry, in amassing comparative wealth, as the Eta 
sometimes, the Hi-nin rarely, did. The Great Change 
brought many reforms in its train, but none more humane, 
none that did greater honour to its promoters, than the 
Edict issued by the Council of State on the twelfth of 
October, 1871, eloquent in its simplicity, and commencing 
with the words : 

"The designations of Eta and Hi-nin are abolished. 
Those who bore them are to be added to the general 
registers of the population, and their social position and 
methods of gaining a livelihood are to be identical with 
those of the rest of the people." 


The Great Change was worth making, if only for this 
noble edict that made men of nearly a million of outcasts 
and placed them on a footing of legal equality with their 
compatriots. * Eta and Hi-nin are mere names of the 
past. Those that bore them are now free men, and their 
sons have passed, and are passing, through the great 
national mill, that takes Shi-zoku and farmer, noble and 
craftsman, scholar and trader, the sons of the proud 
retainer of an ex-feudal lord and of the lowly Eta, of 
the wealthy sa^-brewer and of the poor Hi-nin, and 
transforms them all into soldiers of the Imperial Army, 
marching under the same glorious flag. 

So the Eta rubbish-picker may hold up his head now, 
save in the presence of dog-owners, amongst whom he 
has an evil reputation, for they accuse him of being a 
foul poisoner of many a sleek canine pet, done to death 
for the sake of his skin. The old Eta leather-dressing 
craft is still familiar to the "paper-picker"; dog-skins are 
used for making drum-heads and command a fair price. 
When no dogs are about to tempt him, the Kami-kudzn- 
hiroi is a harmless and useful toiler, clearing out the 
waste-paper-box with punctuality, and thus relieving the 
house of its daily accumulation of used paper-handkerchiefs. 
The idea of paper being used for cleansing the nose may, 
at first, be repugnant to us, but a walk through any 
street in Europe, or in America, much frequented by the 
proletariat, will soon lead us to wish that the masses of 
the West would imitate, in this respect, the people of 
Japan. Paper handkerchiefs are cheap, they save washing- 
bills, and, above all, they are far better than no hand- 
kerchiefs at all. 

It is a far cry from the days of the prehistoric hero 
Prince Yamato-take* to those of New Japan, yet through 
the intervening centuries his countrymen carried, and some 
of them, in the remote mountainous districts of the interior, 

* The exact numbers, at the time of the issue of the Edict, were: 
287,111 Eta and 695,689 Hi-nin. 


still carry, the hi-uchi-bukuro, the " fire-strike-bag," con- 
taining the fire-kindling implements, similar to the one 
that we are told, in the legends of the dim past, was 
slung to the scabbard of the great warrior's magic sword. 
But flint and steel have had their day, and the modern 
Japanese carries a match-box filled with the products of 
one of the most flourishing industries of his country. He 
may use an elegant little match-box of chased and inlaid 
metal, or, ir economically inclined, may carry a simple 
wooden box of Japanese " safety matches," not to be 
distinguished, at first sight, from the well-known boxes 
of Swedish " tandstickor" or of our own London-made 
matches. The manufacture of wooden matches of various 
kinds has progressed by leaps and bounds in New Japan, 
until they have become an important article of export, 
Tokio, Osaka, and the Prefecture of Hiogo sending millions 
of gross of boxes to all parts of Asia, and even to 
Australia, in the course of the year, nearly the whole 
quantity being "safety matches." China and British India 
are the chief customers, and in those countries Japanese 
matches have virtually swept their Swedish and British 
rivals out of the market. This success has been achieved 
chiefly by the remarkable cheapness of the Japanese pro- 
duct, for the quality occasionally leaves much to be desired. 
Japanese Consuls in China and in India have frequently 
reported loud complaints as to the inferior quality of a 
great part of the matches exported, complaints apparently 
justified, the irritation of some of the disappointed pur- 
chasers going so far as to cause them to class Japanese 
matches with those of the French Government Monopoly 
the direst insult that can be offered to a match. The 
Japanese manufacturers of tsuke-gi, or "kindling-sticks," 
have taken the consular remonstrances to heart for, un- 
like our British manufacturers, they study Consular Reports, 
and heed their warnings and suggestions and a very not- 
able improvement has taken place in the quality. Much as 
the boxes resemble those from Sweden, certain announce- 


ments on the labels are peculiarly Japanese ; for instance, 
in the case of some of the brands most in favour in the 
country itself, the statement that "these matches are pure, 
and fit to be used for lighting the lamps of the gods." 
Thus are the scruples of those appeased who would 
otherwise hesitate to kindle the lamps before the house- 
hold shrines, Buddhist or Shin-to, sometimes both the 
majority of the Japanese following the observances of 
one of the numerous Buddhist sects as well as those of 
the truly national ancestor-worship, the ancient Shin-to 
with a new-fangled invention, introduced from abroad, 
possibly involving the use of phosphorus, made from the 
bones of animals, and hence impure. For quite other, 
and more material, reasons do the Swedes assure the 
world, on millions of yellow labels, that their " safety 
matches " are made " titan svafvel och fosfor." * 

I have described thus in detail the dress of the gentle- 
man of New Japan, and its accessories, not only because 
of the opportunities of throwing side - lights on some 
manners and customs affected by the introduction ot 
Western ideas and on some of the new industries created, 
and the old ones affected, by the new conditions but 
with the object of dispelling the prevalent misconception 
that the national costume is in danger of early extinction. 
There was a period in which it seemed doomed to give 
way before the dress of the West, as represented by 
hideous imported " slop - clothes " and native imitations 
thereof. From 1873 to 1887, especially in the last three 
years of that period, the adoption of European dress pro- 
gressed rapidly amongst the upper classes. It had been 
made compulsory for officials, when on duty, in 1873, and 
had steadily gained ground amongst students, bankers, 
merchants, and others coming, more or less directly, under 
foreign influence. Officials and students returning from 

* " Without sulphur or phosphorus." 


abroad aroused the envy of their countrymen by appearing, 
on all occasions, in the latest productions of the fashion- 
able tailors, hatters, and bootmakers, the best hosiers and 
glovers, of Bond Street and of the Rue Vivienne, of Unter 
den Linden and of Broadway, and their stay-at-home com- 
patriots strove to imitate their apparel. The imitation was 
not always carried out with thoroughness, but, too often, 
piecemeal, separate articles of European attire being donned 
in conjunction with native clothing, with ludicrous results. 
A "chimney-pot" hat, its nap only too frequently brushed 
the wrong way, reared its ugly cylinder on the head of 
the wearer of silken kimono and hakama, a very short 
" covert-coat " of approved Melton Mowbray pattern was 
worn over an otherwise purely Japanese costume ; even 
when all the garments were of European cloth and cut, 
some accessory was often sadly incongruous. Gentlemen 
might be seen attending an official garden-party in full 
evening dress, its effect marred by the trousers being 
tucked into high boots, and by an European bath- towel 
worn round the neck as a comforter. There is a dark and 
dreadful legend, I have been unable to trace to its source, 
of an elderly nobleman who attended an official reception 
on New Year's Day, the greatest festival of the Japanese 
year, in the evening dress of Europe, complete in every 
respect but one and that an important one the outfitter 
from whom he had ordered the ceremonial costume having, 
unfortunately, omitted to send home the trousers ! 

These eccentricities gradually diminished, native tailors 
began to produce excellent imitations of Western garments, 
the gentlemen of Tokio were becoming accustomed to their 
proper use in accordance with European fashions, and the 
garb of Old Japan seemed doomed to disappear, after 
its relegation to the working class in the towns, and to 
the peasantry. The wave of German influence that swept 
over Japan from 1885 to 1887 carried the innovation to 
a still more dangerous point. The beautiful costume of 
the women of Japan, so absolutely becoming to its wearers 






that one can hardly imagine them clad in any other way, 
was threatened, and, sad to relate, the ladies of the Court 
began to order dresses from Paris ? No the pen 
almost refuses to chronicle the appalling fact -from Berlin ! 
In the nick of time, the reaction against a slavish imitation 
of Occidental customs unsuited to the country came to 
the rescue. In 1887, the national spirit, roused to indig- 
nation against the Western Powers by the failure of Count 
Inouye's attempts to induce them to negotiate a Revision 
of the Treaties on the basis ardently desired by the 
Japanese, caused a sudden return to many of the old 
habits and customs that had fallen into abeyance. This 
reaction in minor matters, whilst not impeding the nation's 
progress in the adaptation of the essentials of modern 
civilisation, has since made itself increasingly conspicuous. 

Its outward and visible sign is the resumption of their 
picturesque and becoming national dress by both men and 
women of the upper class. The uniforms, naval, military, 
and civil, are all of European pattern ; so is the court 
dress of the nobility more is the pity, for no statelier 
costume could be devised than that worn by the nobles of 
Old Japan and, at most of the great court functions, the 
Empress, one of those gracious little grandes dames who 
look charming and dignified in any costume, appears in 
European dress, together with her ladies, some of whom, 
now accustomed to it, wear it with truly Parisian grace. 
Officials are clad in European costume during office-hours, 
but it may safely be said that, with the above exceptions, 
the Japanese of the upper class now wear their national 
dress at all times when the nature of their work, or recrea- 
tion, does not render Western clothing much more suitable. 
As I have already stated, European headgear is frequently 
worn with Japanese clothes, usually with incongruous results. 
Occidental socks and boots, or shoes, overcoats, " Inver- 
ness " capes, waterproof coats and capes, comforters all 
these are occasionally worn with native dress, and European 
woollen underclothing is coming into very general use, 


owing to medical advice. Flannel shirts and woven "sing- 
lets " are being more extensively used, year by year, even 
by the working class, and cotton undershirts and drawers 
are made in large quantities. 

The dress I have attempted to describe is subject to 
some modifications, according to the season. In winter, a 
short under-jacket, or dogi, of silk, or cotton, is worn ; and, 
in very cold weather, two wadded gowns, the nether one 
called shita-gi, the upper one uwa-gi, keep the body 
warm. In summer, the kimono is of thin material and of 
lighter colour, the ji-ban, or shirt, shows a white edge at 
the opening of the gown, and, indoors, or within the 
precincts of his own garden, the Shi-zoku throws off the 
summer haori, or overcoat, which is not necessarily black, 
like the one worn in winter, the silken hakama, and even 
the summer kimono of ro, or gauze- silk, and slips on a 
yukata, a cotton bathgown, generally white with some 
minute blue pattern the perfection of a garment for 
lounging in hot weather. The loin-cloth (shita-obi) of 
bleached muslin is always worn next to the skin. Its 
plebeian counterpart, the fundoshi, is the foundation of 
the costume of every male Japanese who earns his rice, 
or only his millet, by the sweat of his brow. When 
working away from houses, and secure from observation 
by the lynx-eyed policeman, he reduces his dress to its 
simplest form the loin-cloth, wondering greatly why the 
powers that be should, at the instigation of the foreigners, 
object to his thus baring his brawny limbs, his muscular 
back and chest, just as untold generations of his ancestors 
did unmolested. 

The Shi-zoku has wisely reverted to his national dress, 
but in one point of his appearance he belongs irrevocably 
to New Japan. He wears his abundant hair cut in the 
Occidental fashion, not always, sooth to say, in the most 
approved Bond Street or Piccadilly style too frequently, 
an inverted pudding-basin would appear to have guided 
the scissors in their course but, uneven or sleek, his hair, 


with its parting in the European fashion, is a sign of the 
Great Change. One of the first acts of those who shaped 
the policy of New Japan was to order all officials to 
abandon the national mode of wearing the hair, the time- 
honoured custom of shaving the centre of the front and 
top of the head, leaving the backhair long, to be gathered 
into a little cue, the mage, which was bound with a 
string, wound round and round its base, and then bent 
forward, lying well over the shaven poll, the ends neatly 
cut and trimmed. A glance at any Japanese picture re- 
presenting a scene of any period between the heroic 
times and 1870, containing bare-headed male figures, will 
show the mage, and will demonstrate its appropriateness 
to the Japanese countenance, to which it imparts a look 
of great intelligence, due to the high, shaven forehead, and 
of peculiar dignity. But the mage was a troublesome 
fashion, involving the frequent ministrations of the barber, 
and the loss of much time that was required, under the 
new dispensation, for the study of many difficult subjects, 
such as chemistry, and political economy, and Parlia- 
mentary government. So the mage had to be cut off, 
the smooth space on the head was suffered to grow a 
crop of stubble, and the fraternity of barbers groaned in- 
wardly, and learnt to cut the hair after the fashion of 
the West. 

The national way of dressing men's hair did not, 
however, disappear suddenly, nor entirely. In the first 
Japanese Parliament, which assembled in 1890, at least 
three prominent members of the Lower House still wore 
the little cue lying forward over the smooth, shaven space 
on their conservative heads. 

Now the mage has become rare. Some old men still 
wear it, especially in country districts. With professional 
wrestlers it is still de rigueur ; a large mag/, about the 
size and shape of a door-knocker, is as distinctive of the 
fat sumotori, the huge wrestler who towers over his com- 
patriots like an obese giant, as is the coleta, the tiny 


pigtail, curling slightly upward, the mark of the lissom 
bull-fighter, the graceful torero, of Seville. It gave the 
Samurai's feelings a sad wrench when he parted with his 
mage, the unmistakable badge of his nationality. His 
dress might be confounded, by the casual observer, with 
that of other Far Eastern nations, but the magd was 
purely Japanese. Hence, the man who abandoned it 
thereby proclaimed his adhesion to the new order of 
things, his receptiveness of the new ideas derived from 
intercourse with the foreigners whose mode of dressing 
the hair he was, from that time, to follow. 


How many years must elapse before the Chinese 
Mandarin makes up his mind to follow the example of 
the Japanese, and cut off the most striking outward sign 
of his nationality, the pigtail? On that day a new era 
will dawn for China, for the long plait, often lengthened 
by artificial additions, that hangs down between the 
shoulders of the Chinese the black silk cord and tassel 
at the end (the cord is a white one if the wearer be in 
mourning), beating against his robe as he walks is the 
symbol of the Chinese spirit as it now exists, a mass of 
contradictions, opposed in almost every particular to the 
ideals of our civilisation. Strangely enough, the wearing 
of this pigtail, inseparably associated in our minds with 
the natives of the Celestial Empire, is not a custom of 
Chinese origin. It is one of those puzzles that baffle the 
student of Chinese characteristics at every turn, that the 
most conservative race in the world, a people to whom 
anything " ancient " and " national " is equivalent to 
" sacred," should have adopted a fashion imposed upon 
them by a foreign conqueror, and made what was at 
first a badge of national humiliation into a respected mark 
of manhood. 

When the Manchus put an end to the enfeebled Ming 


dynasty and made themselves masters of China, establish- 
ing at Peking, in 1644, the alien Ts'ing dynasty that still 
occupies the throne, they ordered the conquered people 
to discontinue their mode of dressing their hair, which 
they wore in various styles, according to occupation and 
locality, but, as a rule, long and bunched up into a top- 
knot. The Manchus compelled the vanquished to adopt 
their own custom of shaving the head with the exception 
of the back part, the long hair of which they plaited into 
a tail. At first the humiliating innovation naturally met 
with resolute opposition, many Chinese preferring death to 
what they considered dishonour. The conquering Manchu, 
finding that his attempts to impose on his new subjects, 
at the point of the sword, his own national coiffure resulted 
in innumerable risings and riots, adopted a different policy. 
Acting on his knowledge of the national character, he 
played on those feelings that are, even to this day, para- 
mount in the Chinese : filial piety, and the desire to 
"save one's face" that is, to preserve the outward sem- 
blance of dignified respectability. The Manchu Emperor 
decreed that none but loyal, law-abiding subjects might 
shave the front part of the head and wear their back-hair 
in a plait ; all males convicted of crime were to forfeit 
this distinction. Thenceforward conviction was followed, 
and still is followed, by the loss of the cue and by an 
unshaven pate, which thus became the mark of a criminal. 
Moreover, sons mourning for a parent were ordered to 
show their grief by leaving the head unshaven, and the 
cue unbraided and unkempt, for the space of one hundred 
days from the date of their bereavement, a custom still 
rigidly observed. 

The Emperor's astute move was crowned with complete 
success. What had been a token of subjection to alien 
rule became, and has remained for more than two 
centuries and a hall, a cherished badge of nationality, 
apparently the most Chinese thing in China. In this 
curious fact, and in the method by which it was brought 


about, there is matter for deep reflection on the part 
of those who have in view the regeneration of China. 
If the millions of the Flowery Land could be induced to 
make an alien custom so entirely their own that its 
abolition at the present day would mean a revolution, 
surely there is some hope that native ideas may be 
brought under other, and more beneficial, foreign influences, 
provided the pressure from without be exercised in the 
same wise manner, by making use of the feelings that 
sway the Chinese mind. Thus, and thus only, can any 
real changes ever be effected in China, by constantly 
bearing in mind that the Chinese are Chinese a fact lost 
sight of by the majority of those who propound schemes 
for the regeneration of the Celestial Empire. 

Completely as the Chinese have, apparently, adopted the 
Manchu fashion of wearing the hair and this and the official 
"button" on the hat are about the only things they 
have acquired from their conquerors, who, on the contrary, 
soon assimilated the civilisation of the more cultured van- 
quished the opposition to the custom has, even yet, not 
entirely died out. Nothing ever dies out entirely in China. 
In the constantly recurring rebellions that shake the crazy 
structure of the decaying Empire, now at one point, then 
at another, the insurgents almost invariably allow the hair 
to grow all over their heads, as a sign of revolt against 
the Manchu usurpers. Whatever the real cause of the 
rising, unless it be an outbreak of some of China's many 
millions of Mohammedan subjects, it is almost invariably 
represented as a national "legitimist" revolution against 
Manchu rule, with the ultimate object of placing some 
mysterious descendant of the Ming dynasty on the throne 
that is his by right. Hence, the insurgents allow their 
hair to grow, as did their ancestors in the days of the 
Ming Emperors, and the Peking official proclamations 
thunder against the " Hairy Rebels." In many of the 
Secret Revolutionary Societies with which China is honey- 
combed, the conspirators conceal their pigtails under their 


caps when attending the meetings of their Lodge, the 
badge of subjection hanging peacefully down their backs 
when they go about their daily business as apparently 
contented, law-abiding loyalists. The turbans worn by the 
peasants of the southern provinces of Kwang-tung (called 
by Occidentals "Canton") and Fu-kien are said, by some, 
to have been originally devised to conceal the alien pig- 
tail, coiled round the head; but I consider it more likely 
that this head-dress (now worn by some of the regiments 
drilled on the European plan) owes its origin to a desire 
to shield the skull from the fierce rays of the sun. It 
seems to me to be akin to the blue cotton kerchief the 
Japanese craftsman, or labourer, winds so deftly round his 
head, tying it in front with extraordinary rapidity, when 
about to engage on any work likely to induce perspira- 
tion. It is also very similar to the small turban worn by 
the Malays and the Javanese, and to the still narrower 
head-cloth of the neighbours of the Southern Chinese 
the Burmese and the Siamese. 

In spite of the occasional evidences of patriotic opposi- 
tion to the Manchu custom, the pigtail remains the dis- 
tinctive outward and visible sign of Chinese manhood. At 
the age of thirteen or fourteen, the Chinese boy's head is 
shaved clean of the little tufts that have been allowed to 
grow on it, in separate circles, and have, in many cases, 
been braided separately* but the tuft at the back is 
retained and plaited into what is to become the symbol 
of his having reached man's estate. The pigtail is treated 
with respect, almost with reverence, and carefully tended. 
It is the palladium ol a man's honour and self-respect. 
To pull it is a dire insult ; to cut it off a heinous crime, 
visited with severe punishment by law. So sensitive are 
the Chinese as to its safety, that from time to time 
especially when there is trouble brewing, and more 
particularly when anti-foreign feeling is at fever-point a 

* In infancy, and sometimes even in boyhood, the head is shaved 
perfectly smooth all over. 


"pigtail-panic" drives the populace almost crazy with 
fear, gruesome stories flying about of respectable citizens 
suddenly and mysteriously shorn of their silky plait. 
Epidemics of the pigtail - cutting crime undoubtedly do 
occur, as mysteriously and with as little apparent object 
as the occasional prevalence in England of the maniacal 
instinct which prompts the stabbing of women, in the 
lower part of the back, with penknives or long pins.* 
As usual, the anti-foreign agitators, invariably Graduates, 
or " Literati," give the populace broad hints as to the 
probability that the Missionaries are at the bottom of the 
trouble. In Mediaeval Europe, if there was a failure of 
the crops, or an outbreak of the plague, the mob generally 
burnt a Jew ; in Modern China, in case of any calamity, 
or any untoward event, such as the loss of a pigtail, they 
stone a Missionary. There is little doubt that tail-cutting 
outrages have sometimes been perpetrated by deep schemers, 
with the prospect of raising a popular ferment, in view of 
consequent anti-foreign outrages and the embarrassments 
into which they lead the Government at Peking. 

At times the panic reaches such a pitch that the 
Mandarins feel constrained to allay it. This they do, in 
their own peculiar way, by advising the lieges to remain 
at home as much as possible, avoiding " strangers " 
(whereby foreigners are, of course, meant, as the Occi- 
dental is generally considered to have the Evil Eye, his 
glance having been known to burn off a well- grown pig- 
tail at the roots a fact, at least, a Chinese fact !). They 
sometimes follow up this warning by prescribing pro- 
phylactics against the loss of the cherished cue. According 
to divers Metropolitan Police Notifications, issued in Peking 
since 1875, cords of certain bright colours, braided with the 
hair, medicines to be taken internally, and cabalistic char- 
acters written on bits of paper some to be swallowed, 
some to be burnt, others to be plaited into the cue, and 
one to be affixed over the door of the house are variously 

* Almost any Superintendent of Police can supply instances. 



prescribed as " Infallible Protectors against the Loss of Cues 
by cutting." To officials who issue such "Notifications" 
certain well-meaning Occidental enthusiasts attribute the 
desire and the capacity to regenerate the people who read 
and believe them ! 

The dress of the Chinese of the ruling class is too 
well known to need detailed description. With moral 
courage deserving our admiration and respect, he wears 
his national costume in our midst, braving the curiosity of 
gaping crowds and the ribald jests of the street-boys. 
At state ceremonials we see the Chinese Mandarin, repre- 
senting his Emperor, or attached to an Imperial Legation, 
in all the glory of his full dress of office the gorgeous 
satin robe of exquisite colour, marvellously embroidered, 
the black satin boots with thick, white-edged soles, and 
the official hat, with turned-up brim of dark satin, a tassel 
of thin, red silken cords falling over the crown, topped by 
the button indicating the wearer's official rank.* If the 

* Official rank is indicated by the cognisance embroidered, within a 
square, on the breast and the back of the robe, by the clasp of the silken 
girdle, worn in Court Dress, and by the button on the top of the official 
hat, as follows : 





In Court Dress: 

Ruby, or 

other trans- 

First (the 

( Civil : Crane. 
( Military : Unicorn. 

\ Jade set in rubies. < 
) Jade. 

parent red 
stone ; at 

other times . 

Red Coral. 

( Civil : Golden Pheasant. 

) Gold set in rubies, i 

Red c o ra 1 , 


I Military : Lion. 

\ Chased gold. | 


("Sapphire, or 


( Civil : Peacock. 
\ Military : Leopard. 

I Chased gold. 

other trans- 
parent blue 



f Civil : The Yen, a white 
-! migratory bird. 
( Military : Tiger. 

j Chased gold. j B1 s - e P^ Ue 


( Civil : Silver Pheasant. 
t Military : Bear. 

. Plain gold with a ") .-. , i 
IMI i_ ( Crystal, or 
> silver knob r , 

' Plain gold. ) S lass ' 


( Civil : Egret. 
< Military : Tiger-cat. 

| Tortoise-shell. 

White opaque 
shell, or glass. 


function take place in winter, we admire the costly furs 
lining the satin jacket worn over the robe. The whole 
costume, varied in summer by the wearing of robes of 
lighter silk and by a hat of straw, or of finely-plaited 
bamboo, of low conical shape, with the usual tassel and 
button, is remarkably stately, but it conveys, to Occidental 
minds, an impression of effeminacy. Seated, its wearer 
looks as grave and as imposing as a British Lord Justice 
on the bench. In motion, the effect he produces is 
pompous rather than dignified. The robes that fall 
about his legs, the long, wide sleeves that droop over 
his hands, impede his movements ; his whole dress is 
unsuited to a man of action. 

Throughout the length and breadth of the Chinese 
Empire, the official costume is the same, and its changes 

Seventh. \ Civil: Mandarin Duck. J Silver \ pj ^ 

\ Military : Tiger-cat. j Tortoise-shell. } * 

Eighth. Civil: Quail. J T ' ans P arent } Chased gold. 

( horn. ) 

Ninth. Civil : Jay. Black horn. Chased gold. 

It will be noticed that the Civil Cognisances represent harmless birds, 
whilst the Military ones depict wild beasts of various degrees of fierceness, 
according to Chinese "unnatural history." Military Mandarins of the 
same nominal rank as civil officials never enjoy a tithe of the respect 
shown by the people to the latter. In China the pen is, indeed, mightier 
than the sword. 

By a "Chased" Button, of coral or of gold, a button is meant that 
has the "lucky" character Sio engraved on it in two places. 

In the Chinese Navy the rank of the combatant officers was, at the 
time of the war with Japan, distinguished by the number and size of 
the dragons worked in gold on the sleeves. 

The hat-button denoting official rank is of Manchu origin. It was 
instituted, in an elementary form, by Ts'ung-te, who ruled over the 
Manchus just before Shun-chih, who reigned in Manchuria from 1636 
to 1644, when he became Emperor of China, the first of the Ts'ing 
dynasty, which still occupies the throne. Shun-chih introduced the 
button into China. 

The peacock's feather, with no "eye," or with one, two, or even 
three "eyes," projecting backwards from a small tube, sometimes of 
jade, inserted horizontally at the base of the gold setting of the hat- 
button, is not a badge of rank, but a mark of Imperial favour bestowed 
for meritorious service. 


from summer to winter uniform, and vice versd, take 
place, irrespective of latitude and local climate, on the 
same day, fixed by law and duly notified beforehand by 
Imperial edict, much as in the German Army, whose 
warriors must perforce shiver in white duck trousers if 
the official "first day of spring" happens to be a bitterly 
cold one. Residents in the principal capitals of the West 
are by this time familiar, not only with Chinese official 
costume, but with the dress of the private gentleman, as 
worn by the members of the Legations when taking their 
walks abroad. The flowing silken robe of rich colour, 
with sleeves so long that they must be turned up to allow 
free play to the hands, the deep cuff thus formed often 
serving, in the West, as a pocket for the handkerchief (an 
article unknown in China, and, unfortunately, without even 
the paper substitute in use in Japan) ; the dark satin 
jacket, closed by small loops of braid and little, round, 
golden buttons ; the trousers of light-coloured silk, tied 
at the ankle; the satin shoes with their thick soles, care- 
fully whitened at the edges ; the small round, stiff cap of 
black satin, with the "little round button at top" these 
are worn by the " Literati " and by the middle classes in 
China to this day. In winter, the jacket is fur-lined, the 
other garments are thickly wadded, and more warmth is 
obtained by wearing additional clothes, till a gentleman of 
Peking on a frosty day is covered with as many layers 
as an onion. Summer or winter, the girdle worn under 
the short, loose jacket (which sometimes has no sleeves) 
and over the upper robe, has depending from it a silken 
pouch with tassels of fringe, a case containing the ivory 
eating-sticks,* and often another holding the tobacco-pipe, 

* The Chinese carry their " chop -sticks " about their persons. The 
Japanese keep theirs at home. In Japanese restaurants it is usual to 
hand each customer a slender slip of wood, slit almost in two, lengthways, 
the customer completing the separation into a pair of eating-sticks that 
cannot possibly have been used before. This compares favourably with 
the imperfectly cleaned forks of some Occidental eating-houses. 


with a metal bowl, small, but approaching more nearly to 
ours than the tiny Japanese acorn-cup. As the Chinese 
enjoys his smoke, he is probably oblivious of the fact 
that the habit reached his ancestors, in the seventeenth 
century, in the North, through Korea, from Japan, where 
the herb had just been introduced by the Portuguese ; in 
the South, from Luzon, one of the Philippine Islands. The 
Chinese seem to have been in a receptive mood in the 
latter half of the seventeenth century ; their now cherished 
pigtails, their official hat-buttons, and their inveterate 
smoking habit, all alien customs, now so firmly established, 
date from that period. 

A fan, similar to that used by the Japanese, is carried, 
in summer, by every Chinese. Here, again, the average 
Chinese is unaware that what he fondly looks upon as 
a truly national invention, dating from remote antiquity, 
was originally an importation from Japan. The folding- 
id^ is, undoubtedly, a Japanese invention, due, according 
to tradition, to the widow of the young warrior Atsumori, 
slain by the hero KUMAGAI Naozane in the defeat of 
the Taira Clan by their rivals, the Minamoto, at Ichi- 
no-tani, near the present Kobe, in A.D. 1184. The young 
widow became a Buddhist nun, and during her retirement 
at the temple of Miei-do, at Kidto, she cured the abbot 
of a fever, so it is said, by fanning him with a paper 
folding-fan, made by her in imitation of the structure of 
a bat's wing. This was the prototype of all the ogi of 
Japan, and, therefore, of their imitations, the folding-fans 
of all other countries. The legend states that the fanning 
was accompanied by incantations, and leaves us to decide 
whether the abbot had to thank them or the fan for his 
recovery. The part played by the bat, as the model for 
the invention, was commemorated in the name of a fan 
used at the court of Old Japan, the komori, or "bat." 
To this day the priests of the Miei-do temple are famous 
as fan-makers, and, throughout Japan, shops where fans are 
sold often hang out the name of that temple as a sign. 


From Japan, through Korea, the half-way house of her 
ancient intercourse with China, the folding-fan reached 
the court of the third Ming Emperor, Ch'eng-tsu, who 
reigned from A.D. 1403 to 1425. It rapidly became popular, 
probably being looked upon as a Korean invention ; as a 
Japanese one it would hardly have found favour, the 
Japanese having twice raided parts of the Chinese coasts 
during Ch'eng-tsu's reign. It was a slight return for Japan 
to make, this giving of a new, and more practical, kind 
of fan (the stiff, non-folding sort, evolved from the palmetto 
leaf, had come into China, probably from India, traditionally 
in 1106 B.C. ; historically, they were in use under the T'ang 
Emperor Kau-tsung, A.D. 650 to 684,) in exchange for an 
entire system of civilisation, received from China, partly 
through Korea. In 1894 an ^ I ^95, Japan again gave China 
something, by the way of Korea, as usual not a fan, 
this time, but a thrashing, destined to mark a turning- 
point in China's history. 

Considered as a whole, the dress of the Chinese of 
the upper and middle classes is comfortable and fairly 
hygienic. It hangs loosely, tight clothing being considered 
by the Chinese to be highly indecent, as revealing the 
outlines of the figure. For those who can afford furs, or 
even sheepskin linings, or wadded garments, it secures a 
fair amount of comfort in winter, although its looseness 
and its wide-mouthed sleeves admit more cold air than 
is pleasant in the bitter weather experienced in the North, 
sometimes for months together. The Chinese dress is 
deficient in one respect that appears of great importance 
to Occidentals. In common with all the inhabitants of 
the Far East, the Chinese has no pockets. Whatever he 
wants to carry about his person must be attached to the 
girdle, thrust into the bosom of the robe (an unsafe 
receptacle), stuck into the fold of the turned-up sleeve, 
or the turned-up brim of a hat, put into his cap, or, if 
its size and shape will allow, tied up in the tdi-zu, the 
tape, an inch wide, confining the trousers at the ankle. 


(The fact of our wearing trousers open at the ankle, in 
winter, is a source of continual wonder to the Chinese, 
who inquire if we do not feel very cold about the legs 
in such irrational garments.) Some Chinese of the working 
class even use the ear as a purse, to contain, it is true, 
only a very small sum just one " cash." 

Of the body covered by the Mandarin's gorgeous 
raiment I would rather not write. The subject is an 
unsavoury one. If the Japanese be, and they undoubtedly 
are, the cleanest people on earth, the Chinese are certainly 
amongst the dirtiest. Their towns are indescribably filthy, 
the narrow streets reeking with offal and the stench of 
every abomination ; their villages are nearly as bad ; their 
houses even their palaces contain foul corners, grimy 
with ancient dust, and the state of their bodies makes a 
Chinese crowd malodorous to a degree. Public bath- 
houses exist for the benefit of the working class, who 
occasionally use them, but those high up in the social 
scale consider a perfunctory "lick" with a damp rag, and 
a wipe with a cotton towel about the size of a pocket- 
handkerchief, as complete matutinal ablutions. In the 
North, washing during the winter months, when frost and 
snow prevail, is looked upon as positively injurious to 
health, and the complexion of the natives becomes darker 
by degrees as the time for their " spring cleaning " 
approaches. Chinese in Occidental employ, however, soon 
learn to conform to our ideas of personal cleanliness, and 
the Mandarins and students who reside for some time in 
the West take to the use of soap and water quite readily, 
and become as clean as those with whom they come 
in contact. But in China filth and bad smells reign 
supreme, although there are, as in ever}*- country, some 
people who are distinguished by exceptional personal 
cleanliness and neatness. By the great majority clothes 
are worn long after they have become saturated with 
perspiration. The dear old lady who exclaimed, in hei 
innocence : " Dear me ! What dirty people the Chinese 


must be ! Every time I see a telegram from Shanghai 
in the newspapers, it always ends with ' Grey shirtings 
unchanged' !"* was not very far from the truth, after all. 
In China prominent public men pay little, or no atten- 
tion to personal cleanliness, even when they belong to 
the Navy, the service identified, in our minds, with a 
scrupulous cleanliness which is almost a religion. A 
friend of mine who had the honour once of sitting 
at an official banquet next to the late gallant Admiral 
Ting, one of the few great men modern China has pro- 
duced, noticed, through the wide openings of the sleeves 
of the Admiral's gorgeous robe, that he was wearing an 
under-garment, once white, that was literally "grey" from 
being " unchanged ! " 

It is strange that this general lack of personal cleanli- 
ness should prevail amongst people who take such extreme 
care of their hair, as shown by the attention bestowed on 
the pigtail, on the moustache and chin-tuft, that appear 
late in life when the Chinese of the class of the 
"Literati," or Graduates, invests in enormous spectacles 
(sometimes of plain glass) with frames of horn, to give 
himself a learned appearance and who periodically cause 
their ears to be cleaned by the peripatetic barber. The 
chiropodist, too, exists in China, and is held to be of 
higher social status than the barber, because he sits whilst 
at work. Chinese hands and feet are generally small and 
shapely, but the hands of the people of position of both 
sexes are disfigured by the ridiculous length to which the 
nails are sometimes allowed to grow, as evidence that 
their owner does no manual labour, a length requiring 
the use of silver cases, worn like thimbles, to protect the 
tapering claws. The custom is, fortunately, much less 
prevalent within the last few years. It has its modified 
counterpart in Europe, where the officers of some armies, 
and some of those who ape them, notably in Germany 

* A frequent item in Market Reports relating to Manchester goods. 


and in Austria, allow the nail of the little finger of the 
left hand to grow to an inordinate length. This form 
of idiotcy is also, fortunately, tending to disappear. 


Now that I have described the appearance of the 
Japanese Shi-zoku and of the Chinese Mandarin, the 
Korean Yang-ban claims attention. Tall, stately, imper- 
turbable, his handsome features, nearer to the "Caucasian" 
type than those of Japanese or. Chinese, are calm and 
serene, as befits one of the aristocracy of Cho-son (in 
the written language, Tsio-sien ; in Chinese, Chao-sien ; 
in Japanese, Cho-sen, or Korai) the Land of "the Morning 
Calm."* Truly an appellation bestowed by the Koreans 
on their country (officially since A.D. 1392) on the lucus 
a non lucendo principle, for it has been to the Far East, 
through many centuries, a battle-field for warring Empires, 
as the Low Countries were so often for the contending 
Powers of Europe ; when not occupied by foreign armies, 
or raided by Tartar hordes, its inhabitants seem to have 
kept up an interest in life by frequent rebellions. Within 
the last two centuries an era seemed to have dawned for 
Korea in which she might slumber peacefully and deserve 
her poetic name. The period of calm was not to last ; 
heroic French Missionaries, soon to be massacred, and 
daring American and German filibusters invaded her shores. 
The filibusters seemed to have acquired all the calmness 
appropriate to a country with such an appellation, for 
their simple purpose was to steal the coffins, reputed to 
be of pure gold, of several of Korea's kings. Their 
expedition, led by two men of genius only such could 
have conceived the plan named Oppert and Jenkins, 
sailed from Shanghai in 1867, reached the Korean coast, 
and, like another, more recent, Raid that Failed, found 

* Literally, "Morning Freshness" or "Serenity." 


that they had reckoned without their host, and returned 
crestfallen."* After them came more Americans those 
golden coffins were very exciting to the imagination of 
an enterprising race and more massacres (when white 
people are killed, in any circumstances, by people of any 
other race, it is always a " Massacre " ; when it is the 
white men who do the killing, it is called "Severe Losses 
of the Enemy," or " Great Slaughter of the Rebels "). 
The Koreans were, probably, encouraged in their prompt 
suppression of the second American attempt by the futile 
nature of the expedition, in 1866, of the French 
Admiral Roze, who, failing to receive satisfaction for the 
murders of French Missionaries, bombarded the forts of 
Kang-hoa, with meagre results, and sailed away. In 1871, 
Admiral Rogers, of the United States Navy, appeared on 
the scene with an expedition specially organised for the 
purpose of avenging the burning of the American schooner 
General Sherman, with her crew, and of compelling the 
Hermit Kingdom to abandon its system of rigid exclusion 
of all Occidentals, for whatever purpose they might come. 
The unlucky forts at Kang-hoa were again bombarded, 
the Korean troops, chiefly professional tiger-hunters from 
the interior, fought with unexpected determination against 
the American landing-party ; there were relatively heavy 
losses on both sides, and Rogers departed, as Roze had 
done, leaving Korea as much a sealed-up land as before, 
with her fear of foreign invasion intensified. At last, in 
1876, the Japanese, in consequence of an attack on some 
of the crew of their warship Unyo-kan, who had landed, 
again at Kang-hoa, sent an envoy, General Kuroda, backed 
up by a powerful display of naval force, and succeeded in 

* A Roman Catholic priest was associated with the German Oppeit 
and the American Jenkins in this enterprise, which was of the nature of 
a "syndicate venture." The priest gave out that the object was to seize 
the Royal coffins, and to hold them until the King consented to open up 
the country and to tolerate Christianity. His partners were more direct ; 
they drew up, it is said, a statement of the " Estimated Profits from Sale 
of Golden Coffins." 


breaking the spell without recourse to arms. A treaty 
was concluded/ and the Western Powers were not slow 
to follow suit. Here, as nineteen years later in China, 
Japan's action was the means of providing new markets 
for the trade of the West. In Korea, Japan opened the 
door wide, that had been only ajar to her traders, at the 
one port of Fusan, since 1443, and the Occident, repre- 
sented by its Consuls and its merchants, its Missionaries 
and its adventurers, walked in. In China, Japan forced 
the half-open door back on its rusty hinges, opening a 
way, not only to fresh markets immediately available to 
the whole civilised world, but straight to the key of the 
position, admitting influences that are hurrying on the 
solution of the greatest problem now confronting our 
civilisation the future of the Chinese nation. We have 
heard much talk of "the Open Door," but little of 
Japan's share in opening it wide and in keeping it open. 

Since the treaty forced upon her by Japan in 1876, 
the history of Korea has been a succession of " alarums 
and excursions," of plots and counterplots, political assas- 
sinations and executions, rebellions, riots, and invasions. 
This truly "distressful country" has been the scene of 
the intrigues of the diplomatists of half-a-dozen states ; 
she has been the prey of adventurers from all parts of 
the world. In turn she has been swayed by German 
"advisers," American military instructors and missionaries, 
Russian diplomatists and Japanese envoys. In 1897, Korea 
was the rope in a spirited "tug-of-war" between Russia 
and Japan, diversified, for a time, by a game of "pull 
devil, pull baker" between Russia and Britain, the whole 
tussle ending with "graceful concessions" by Russia to 
Britain and, for ulterior motives, to Japan. 

Throughout all this turmoil, one class in Korea re- 
mained almost unshaken in its adherence to the line oi 
conduct it had pursued for centuries. The Yang-ban, most 
indolent of Far Eastern aristocrats, is not to be hurried on 
the thorny path of reform by hectoring Japanese or per- 


suasive Russian, by energetic German or smart American. 
The younger generation are changing, slowly but surely ; 
the men still in the prime of early manhood were born 
too long before the foreign influences came into play to 
be more than superficially affected by them. The Yang- 
ban whose appearance I shall attempt to describe clings 
to his native costume, the quaintest in the quaint Far 
East, in spite of the attempt made in 1897, under Japanese 
influence, to induce him to don European, or semi- 
European garb. 

As he swings towards us with a ridiculously pompous 
gait, the personification of supercilious swagger, his dress 
presents a striking contrast to his deportment, his usual 
walking costume (quite distinct from his official uniform) 
being of almost Puritan simplicity an impression heightened 
by his hat, the distinctive headgear of his race, recalling, 
by its shape, the hats of the days of Cromwell. The official 
dress he wears at Court, or on any ceremonial occasion, is 
copied, even to details, from that worn at the Court of 
China in the heyday of the Ming dynasty, the last line of 
purely Chinese Emperors, who reigned from A.D. 1368 to 
1628. It consists of a long, loose robe of dark blue, or brown, 
silk, replacing, at Japanese instigation, the gaudy robes, of 
the same cut, of scarlet, bright blue, or yellow, worn by 
all officials but the highest, and those of richly-figured 
Chinese silks worn by the high dignitaries, prior to 1895. 
On the breast and back are affixed shields, or panels, ol 
embroidery, displaying a cognisance indicating the wearer's 
official rank a tiger, for instance, or a crane, or stork (not, 
as inadvertently stated by Lord Curzon of Kedleston, on 
page 157 of the new and revised edition (1896) of his 
Problems of the Far East, " a stalk " !). Over the robe a 
clumsy-looking belt is worn, adorned with large plates, or 
bosses, of gold, silver, jade, ivory, ' or horn, according to 
the rank, the ungraceful effect of the belt, which is worn 
high up, almost under the arms, being increased by the 
fact that it is made to remain at a distance of several 


inches from the body, in front, as if to allow room for the 
expansion of the official after an unusually hearty meal. 
Thick-soled boots, of cloth or satin, are worn, and a head- 
dress such as we see depicted on Chinese works of art 
representing scenes of the Ming period. This curious cap, 
a sort of mitre, is made of finely-cut and interlaced strips 
of bamboo, lacquered black, or of horsehair-cloth, and is 
subject to many modifications of shape, according to the 
wearer's rank. Its form varies from that of a small pile 
of flowerpots of graduated sizes, standing one within the 
other, to that of an ornate lamp-shade turned upside down ; 
but the best way to obtain an idea of its more usual forms 
is to study the various moulds used by our pastry-cooks 
in the production of their sponge-cakes and their jellies. 
In the case of Ministers, and high officials generally, the 
cap is often adorned with four singular projections : two 
paddles, shaped like the petals of a flower, standing out 
on either side, above and behind the ears, and two 
shorter ones standing straight up. There is a tradition 
that these projections, all of the same material as the cap, 
and dating, likewise, from the Chinese Ming period, are 
meant to represent ears and wings. The extra pair of long 
ears are not intended as a reflection on the statesman's 
wisdom the patience of the ass and his firmness of will, 
branded by us as obstinacy, rather commend the animal 
to the Oriental mind they are meant to indicate his 
capacity to receive information and complaints, and to 
overhear plots. The wings are typical of the zeal and 
alacrity with which he flies to do his sovereign's bidding. 

Our Yang- ban has laid aside, for the nonce, the 
antique dress just described, and appears in a costume 
hardly less ancient, that is more Occidental, in its general 
outline, than the clothing of the modern Chinese and 
Japanese. The key-note of his appearance is its spotless 
whiteness. His baggy breeches, drawn in at the ankle ; 
his long smock, slit at the sides, very short-waisted (a 
black silken girdle-cord passing round it close under the 


arms), the full skirts sticking out ridiculously from near 
the armpits ; his padded socks all are white and all are 
of cotton, which necessitates their being thickly wadded 
in the severe winter. His hat and his clumsy cloth 
shoes are the only things he wears, except his girdle, 
that are not absolutely white .* The shoes are of black, 
or dark blue, cloth ; the hat, or kat, is black, of finely-split 
and interlaced bamboo, or in the case of cheap hats, such 
as a Yang- ban would probably scorn to wear of woven 
horsehair. In either case the hat looks, to an Occidental, 
as if it were made of black wire-gauze, such as is used 
for meat-safes and fencing-masks. In shape the hat is 
between a Puritan's and a Welshwoman's in those parts 
of the Principality where the- national head-dress still 
survives. The crown is a truncated cone, the brim wide 
and perfectly straight. What strikes one at first sight is 
the insufficient diameter of the crown, much too small to 
fit the head, so that the hat has to be lashed on by 
broad black cords tied under the chin, often supplemented 
by a string of amber and cornelian beads. This gives the 
wearer the undignified appearance of a man who has 
come away from a party with the only opera-hat left in 
the cloak-room, someone else's and several sizes too small. 
It has not even the sole redeeming feature of the absurd, 
useless, unwarlike, " pat-of-butter " cap tied on (for it is 
only the chin-strap which keeps it on) to the side of the 
head of British soldiers of various arms ; that has, at 
least, a rakish appearance. 

There is a reason for the peculiar construction of the 
Yang-ban's hat, a work of art that may cost him over 
twenty dollars ; the ordinary man's hat, of the same 
pattern but of cheap material, may cost three or four. 
The kat is not intended as a covering for the head any 
more than Mr. Thomas Atkins's "cap on three 'airs." 
It is built up as a receptacle, an outer protection, for 

* It is said that in former times the colour worn was pale blue. 


another head-dress, a cap, the mang - kun, somewhat 
like the British joiner's paper working-cap, but with- 
out a crown, and made of the same material as the hat 
worn over it. The cap has a band which fits tightly 
round the head, and it contains, within its wire-gauze- 
like walls, the Korean's most cherished possession his 
topknot. To him it is a constant reminder that, when 
the Manchu seized the throne of China, and held Korea 
in the hollow of his hand, he inflicted the pigtail, his, 
the conqueror's, own national custom, only on the Chinese, 
whereas the Koreans were allowed to retain the mode of 
wearing their hair they had adopted from the people of 
ancient China. The Korean boy wears his hair long, 
parted in the middle, and plaited into a long, thick cue, 
frequently augmented with artificial hair. This coiffure, 
never covered by any head-dress, gives the young Korean 
a strangely girlish look, with the "bread-and-butter Miss" 
expression of the average German Backfisch, whose hair 
is usually dressed in the same style as the Korean boy's. 
When the Korean youth is betrothed, as he is, generally, 
at a very early age, sometimes even at nine or ten years 
of age, his cue is unplaited, the hair is dragged away 
from the forehead, encircled by a fillet, and bunched up 
into a topknot, the sang-tu, the national symbol of man- 
hood, to be protected, in later years, by the cap and 
hat that have already been described.* A bachelor of 
forty may not wear the coveted token of solid, married, 
or betrothed, respectability ; he must be content to wear 
the pigtail of boyhood. 

The unbetrothed bachelor of forty, or, indeed, of any 
age over twenty, would not belong to the upper class, 
for all Korean parents in comfortable circumstances 
betroth their sons in boyhood, and marry them as early 
as possible, generally between the fourteenth and eighteenth 

* The actual mang-kun is the fillet, continually worn, of which the cap 
and the hat are the adjuncts. It is wound so tightly round the head that 
it makes an indelible mark on many Korean foreheads 


years of their age, to brides almost invariably their seniors 
by at least three, and sometimes by as much as eight, 
years. The Yang-ban we are considering is, therefore, 
certainly a married man, entitled since his betrothal in 
boyhood to a topknot, and, since marriage, to the curious 
hat protecting it. (During the years of betrothal he wore 
a distinctive hat of straw.) The Korean, having attained 
the honour of a topknot, bestows the greatest care upon 
it, and is as anxious about its safety as is the Chinese 
about that of his pigtail. Epidemics of topknot-cutting 
occur in Korea, occasioning panics similar to those I have 
described as convulsing Chinese society from time to 

In Korea, the hair-cutting crime is ascribed to a malevo- 
lent dragon, who dares to commit these outrages in the 
very precincts of the Sovereign's palace, attacking the 
topknots even of the Life Guards on sentry duty. In 1888, 
His Korean Majesty sent a gracious message to the Chargd 
d" Affaires of the United States, Colonel Chaill6-Long 
"Bey" (formerly of the Egyptian Army), requesting him 
not to be alarmed by any unusual noise that might proceed 
from the Palace Enclosure on the night following the 
delivery of the message. The noise, His Majesty ex- 
plained, would arise from measures adopted, after con- 
sultation with the Court Astrologers assembled in Council, 
with a view to driving away a mischievous dragon, who 
had of late carried his misdeeds to the point of cutting 
off the topknots of the Guards on sentry-go at the very 
gates of the palace. It had been decreed, by Order in 
Council, that volleys of blank cartridge should be fired to 
scare the audacious monster, bullets being useless against 
an evil spirit, such as the dragon undoubtedly was, and 
noise being particularly obnoxious to all Far Eastern 
dragons. Is it not, as every Chinese and Korean knows, 
noise, and noise alone, but of an ear-splitting potency 
unknown in the West, that prevents the dragon from 
entirely swallowing the sun, or the moon, when an eclipse 


takes place?* In the case of the topknot-collecting dragon 
of Soul, the discharges of musketry had the usual effect 
and also that of keeping the gallant American warrior- 
diplomatist awake all night. The next morning His 
Majesty was graciously pleased to inform him officially 
that the dragon had been utterly routed and had dis- 

The Korean's attention to his sang-tu is not confined 
to the hair composing it whilst actually growing on his 
head. He carefully preserves every stray hair that falls 
from it, or that is combed from it, throughout the year 
until the eve of the New Year. On that night, a par- 
ticularly malevolent spirit roams abroad In the guise of 
a huge cat, and visits every Korean household, on the 
look-out for shoes. Alas ! he is not animated by the kind 
intentions of our own genial Father Christmas. Far from 
him is the benevolent purpose of the German Christkind- 
lein, the French Petit Noel, or the American " Santa 
Klaus." His aim is solely to step into the shoes he may 
find "dead men's shoes," indeed, for their owners will 
die, or, at least, meet with terrible mishap offend a 
powerful Yang-ban, perhaps, and be sentenced, for some 
imaginary crime, to be cudgelled on the shins during the 
coming year. It will be readily believed that on the last 
night of the year Korean children are as anxious to hide 
their shoes as little Occidentals are to leave theirs, and 
their stockings, about at the festive season. Paterfamilias 
sees to it that all shoes, those in use and cast-off ones, 
are gathered together and locked up in a box in the sleep- 
ing apartment, for he dreads the ghostly cat even more 
than do the little ones, superstitions in the Far East 
appearing to gain a firmer hold of the people with their 

* A similar superstition exists in Mohammedan countries. I remember 
seeing, at the time of the total lunar eclipse in February, 1888, a con- 
stable of the Metropolitan Police of Cairo, in complete European uniform 
(but for the red tarbush on his head), vigorously thumping his metal 
tobacco-box in a pious endeavour to scare away the wolf that threatened 
to swallow the moon 


advancing years except, of course, in the case of the 
sceptical New Japanese. No shoes being left for the cat 
to step into, the household would seem to be insured 
against his evil influence for the year to come, but the 
head of a Korean family is determined to neglect no pre- 
caution. He takes the family collection of stray hairs 
not only those from the topknots of the married, or 
betrothed, males, but also those from the long plaits 
wound round the heads of the married women, and from 
the pigtails of the little boys and the young girls carries 
it out, in the evening twilight, into the street just before 
his door, or the gate of his enclosure, and sets fire to it. 
Then arises to the rapidly darkening sky a new odour, 
and a vile one, to be added to the thousand stinks of a 
Korean city. The spirit cat sniffs it from afar, his 
olfactory sense revolts against it, he turns his ghostly tail 
and departs probably to the distant rugged peaks, the 
mysterious haunts of the topknot-cutting dragon. 

Since the war, undertaken nominally in his interest, 
between Japan and China, the Korean has undergone 
greater anxiety on account of his topknot than at any 
previous period. It has been threatened by a foe more 
daring than the dragon, more dangerous than the spirit 
cat. The reforming Japanese, marching in their thou- 
sands to the Korean's unwilling regeneration, laying strong 
hands on him to shake him out of his torpor of centuries, 
were not to be scared with blank cartridge they faced 
bullets unflinchingly and their noses, accustomed to the 
well-manured fields of Japan, took scant notice of burning 
hair. One of their first acts, on undertaking the heavy 
task of Korean reform, was to cause the Government at 
Soul at that time a willing tool to issue an edict abolish- 
ing the topknot, and prescribing the "Occidental cut" in 
its stead. Of all the unduly irritating decrees dictated, 
along with many admirable, if often premature, measures 
of reform, by the tactless zeal of Japanese " regenerators," 
(luring the first brief period of their sway at Soul, none 


exasperated the conservative Koreans more than this edict. 
It was made the pretext for savage rioting, enabling the 
Koreans to give vent to their hereditary hatred of the 
Japanese. The progressive minority, favouring Japan, cut 
off their topknots, and became objects of scorn in the 
eyes of all the other Koreans. The Japanese gradually 
recognised their mistake in attaching too great importance 
to a matter of detail. It was, they soon found, the 
inside of Korean skulls that needed reforming far more 
urgently than the topknots ; the obnoxious " Hair-cutting 
Ordinance" fell into abeyance and went the way of the 
dragon and the spirit cat. In 1897, the topknot had 
become entirely optional, and the more advanced thinkers, 
the young men educated in Japan, or in Korea under 
foreign guidance, wore their hair in the Western fashion, 
whilst the great bulk of the nation retained the national 
distinctive coiffure, or reverted to it in many cases where 
it had been abandoned under Japanese compulsion. So 
the topknot flourishes once more, and with it the Korean 

The brim of the black hat varies in width from four 
to nine inches ; in former times it far exceeded these 
dimensions. For several generations, and as late as 1816, 
the Yang-ban wore hats of immense size, the crown, about 
nine inches high, being surrounded by a brim of such 
width that the whole head-dress had a diameter of three 
feet. These huge hats have their rivals, as to size, at the 
present time in the umbrella-shaped hat of plaited bamboo, 
with six indentations on the edge of the brim, under 
which the Korean mourner hides his grief, and the port- 
able roofs of plaited straw carried on the heads of the 
rustics and the drivers of the bulls that are used as beasts 
of burden. There is a tradition, firmly believed by every 
Korean, and probably true by reason of its very Korean 
quaintness, relating that in olden times the nation was 
compelled, by royal decree, to wear hats of the enormous 
size of the mourners' " extinguisher " of to-day (about 


three feet across), and of a similar shape, made of 
earthenware ! 

The reason for the selection of such an apparently un- 
suitable material, and of such unwieldy dimensions, for the 
hat the Koreans were, it is said, compelled to wear is 
still, according to tradition, typical of the quaint shrewd- 
ness with which the legendary lore of the Far East 
invests many of the ancient rulers. It is a peculiar sort 
of cunning, causing the eyes of Orientals to flash with a 
sly, appreciative twinkle as they relate instances of it, but, 
on examination in the cold light of Occidental common- 
sense, it appears futile and unpractical. In the case of 
these porcelain hats, called torip, the ancient Korean king 
is alleged to have introduced them in order to put a stop 
to the continual riots and brawls that disturbed the country, 
and to the numerous conspiracies that threatened his rule. 
In those early days the Korean was, as he still is, a born 
plotter and exceedingly fond of fighting not, indeed, of 
the strife with weapons on the battle-field, but of a good 
rough-and-tumble contest with fists and feet, cudgels and 
stone-throwing, such as the lower classes indulge in to 
this day, in the first month of the year, ward against 
ward in a city, village against village in the country. To 
him it is as much a " divarsion " as to any " broth of a 
bhoy" in the palmy days of Donnybrook Fair. This 
sportive pugnacity is not the only point of resemblance 
between the characteristics of Koreans and Milesians ; both 
races combine charm of manner with a disinclination 
for sustained effort in serious matters ; both are much 
attracted by politics of a militant sort. The condition 
of an earthenware hat, "three feet in diameter, after a 
lively scrimmage between rival factions, may be easily 
imagined. Even that reproach to our civilisation, the 
silk hat, would come better out of the fray.* Now, 
a broken hat gives a disreputable appearance to its wearer 

* It is extraordinary how the " reproach to our civilisation " continues 
to flourish, in spite of the many attacks made upon it in the cause of 


in any civilised community ; in ancient Korea it entailed 
more serious consequences than mere loss of outward 
respectability. Its possession rendered the purchase of a 
new hat unnecessary, as it involved, when brought under 
official notice, the instant decapitation of the owner. Nor 
was this the only advantage of the hat as a preserver of 
the public peace ; it became simply impossible for the dis- 
affected to put their heads together for the purpose of 
plotting treason when their skulls were surrounded by 
brittle brims a yard across. Shouted conspiracies succeed 
only on the operatic stage. 

To judge by the immaculate whiteness of the Yang- 
bans clothing, one would naturally suppose that he must 
be as observant of bodily cleanliness as the Japanese. 
Appearances are notoriously deceptive, and notably in this 
case. The Korean's clothes are, indeed, scrupulously clean. 
They are very frequently washed, and beaten with a 
heavy smooth stick, vigorously plied by the muscular 
women, until that degree of gloss is obtained that makes 
them look like white, faintly bluish, porcelain ; in fact, 
they are sent to the wash so often, and taken to pieces 
(as in Japan) every time, that they are, as a rule, not 
sewn, but pasted together with starch. The loss of time, 
and the trouble, that would be involved in the unpicking 
and re-sewing are thus avoided. This agreeable cleanli- 
ness, common to the clothing of all Koreans not of the 
lowest class, does not, unfortunately, extend to their bodies. 
The Yang-ban keeps his slender hands (all Koreans have 
small, well-shaped hands and feet) perfectly clean and soft, 
but for his face "a lick and a wipe" are considered suf- 
ficient. The great bulk of the nation is dirty beyond 
description, not only because of the utter want of ablutions, 
save when fording a stream, but on account of various un- 
sanitary sins, both of omission and of commission, whereof 

common-sense and of art. Every writer who mentions it has a bitter word 
for it, but in vain. I have just had my fling here at the hated 
monstrosity and I shall wear one to Church next Sunday 1 


the absence of handkerchiefs of any sort is the least. So 
absolutely primitive are the Korean notions on the sewage 
question that it is often difficult to find a spot on the 
grassy banks of a high road, near a village, on which it 
is possible to sit down. Even the Yang-ban, cultured as 
he is, from the Korean point of view, dignified and ex- 
quisitely courteous, from ours, has some customs which 
are difficult to describe. For instance, when he goes into 
society, he ie invariably accompanied by an attendant 
bearing a round brass pot, used occasionally as a receptacle 
for the ashes of tobacco, and as a spittoon, but the main 
purpose of which is simply that of the Occidental vessel 
usually kept in what Tottenham Court Road furniture- 
catalogues euphemistically call a "pedestal." This vase 
is as much part of his personal equipage as his long pipe, 
his constant companion. 

The Koreans have been inveterate smokers ever since 
the Japanese, in the seventeenth century, passed on to 
them the habit they had just acquired from the Portu- 
guese. Their home-grown tobacco is very mild in the 
manufactured state, but the poorer people use the coarse 
leaf merely dried in the sun and roughly broken up, pro- 
ducing smoke that should be a valuable defence against 
the spirit cat, as its odour is about as pungent as that of 
burning hair. The pipe has a bowl of brass, or, if its 
possessor be wealthy, of jade, the stem is straight, about 
three feet in length, and the mouthpiece of metal, or, in 
the costly pipes, of amber or of jade. The management 
of a pipe of such length, which rarely leaves the Korean's 
lips for more than a few moments, requires considerable 
skill it renders rapid motion, or violent exercise, almost 
impossible. This is hardly a serious drawback in the eyes 
of a race usually averse to any unnecessary exertion, and 
having absolutely no notion of the value of time. When, 
for any reason, the Korean wants to have both his hands 
free, he thrusts his long pipe into the silken cord worn 
as a girdle, sometimes into a pipe-bag attached thereto, 


or he puts the pipe up his sleeve, or sticks it down the 
nape of his neck, between his inner and outer clothing. 
There is one occasion on which the Korean, if he be wise, 
certainly takes his pipe out of his mouth. That is, when 
an official of rank is coming along the street, perched 
high up on a towering saddle under which a little pony 
is almost concealed, an attendant supporting the great 
man's knee on either side or borne aloft in a chair, with 
a leopard-skin thrown over the back of it. A motley 
rabble of lackeys and of so-called "soldiers," hangers-on 
who act as orderlies, and constables, and run, fetch, and 
carry for the official, precedes, surrounds, and follows 
him. These men clear the way with much shouting and 
many sounding blows administered, right and left, with 
their long, flat wooden staves, not unlike a Harlequin's 
wand, but much thicker. Woe to the luckless wight who 
disregards their shouts of " Pipes out ! " In an instant 
his pipe is taken from him, broken into pieces that are 
thrown away, and his head receives smart whacks from 
the lictor's fan. (Everybody in Korea carries a fan, at 
all seasons, on ceremonial occasions, and, in summer, all 
day long.) Under Japanese influence, the Korean Reform 
Government of 1895 discouraged the use of the long pipe 
as much as it did the topknot. It tried to abolish the 
three-foot stem as being conducive to idleness. For a 
time there was trouble in the land, as there always is 
amongst people whom someone is trying to "regenerate," 
but when the pendulum swung back towards a more 
Korean policy to be followed by a term of paramount 
Russian influence, which in turn gave way, in 1898, to 
Japanese guidance, wiser and more gentle than that 
attempted after the war the long pipes reappeared un- 

I have said that the Koreans, as a race, are dirty in 
their habits. Some idea of the want of bodily cleanliness 
amongst the majority of the people may be gained from 
the simple statement that the average Korean of the 


middle and lower classes is completely washed at his birth 
and at his death, and, perchance, once in between, probably 
on his wedding-day. 

There is, however, a ray of hope of reform in this 
matter. It is evident that a new era is being heralded 
for the grimy folk of Korea under the auspices of the 
highest in the land. A memorial was presented to the 
King of Korea by the High Officers of State, first in October, 
1895, and then repeatedly in the course of the years 
1896 and 1897, P ra yi n g that His Majesty would deign to 
set the seal on Korean independence by assuming the title 
of Emperor. His Majesty, who is as modest as he is 
charming in manner and kindly of heart, was rather coy 
and did not show any unseemly haste in acceding to the 
prayer of the memorialists. Indeed, I rather fancy it must 
have been His Majesty himself w r ho inspired the argument 
brought forward by the small minority in the Cabinet, 
who urged that "the strength of the nation secures the 
independence of a state, not the title of the ruler." The 
memorialists were, however, not to be denied. They "got 
up" petitions, in a manner not unknown in the West, 
from different classes of the population, most of whom 
did not care a straw whether their ruler changed his title 
or not. These remaining ineffective, in September, 1897, 
they played their trump-card. For three successive days, 
from the ist to the 3rd of October, 1897, all the high 
officials of the Government, led by the Prime Minister, 
knelt in the courtyard of the palace, from two till six p.m., 
beseeching His Majesty to grant their petition, which 
had already been laid eight times at the foot of the throne. 
The strict regulations of the Court of Soul demanded that 
it should be presented a ninth time. The kneeling states- 
men, suffering by this time from "pins and needles" in 
their legs, again brought their memorial, couched, as 
before, in the classic style of ancient China and His 
Majesty yielded. The Court Astrologers fixed the seven- 
teenth day of the ninth moon, otherwise the I2th of 


October, 1897, as the most auspicious day for the imposing 
ceremonial of the assumption of the Imperial title, quite 
forgetting to mention that a steady downpour of rain 
would drench the brilliant throng of courtiers to the skin. 
Amidst the downpour, His Majesty Li-hsi, clad in 
Imperial yellow, instead of the royal scarlet hitherto worn 
by him, was proclaimed Whang- Che i, or Emperor, of 
Dai-Han, the new name bestowed on Korea and nobody 
has since been "a penny the worse," or the better. 

What can have been the high motive that, at last, 
decided His Majesty to yield to the entreaties of his 
Ministers ? Can it have been the spectacle of the vast 
courtyard filled, for four long hours on three consecutive 
afternoons, with elderly statesmen, some presumably rheu- 
matic, kneeling on the cold stones ? No, it was un- 
doubtedly at least, so it must seem to the Occidental 
mind His Majesty's intense admiration for the patriotic 
sacrifice implied in the last sentence of the memorial : 
"After fasting and washing, we unanimously beg your 
Majesty to grant us this petition." 



I HAVE described, in the foregoing Chapter, the outward 
characteristics of the men who compose the bulk of the 
ruling classes in the Three Empires of the Far East ; the 
object of the present Chapter is to give some account ot 
the ideas that actuate them in their dealings with each 
other and with us of the West. I shall attempt to trace 
the working of the brains under the Parting, the Pigtail, 
and the Topknot ; I shall endeavour to describe the spirit 
dwelling in the hearts that beat under the silken kimono 
of the Shi-zoku, the embroidered robe of the Mandarin, 
and the white cotton gown of the Yang-ban. 

It may appear strange that I have not chosen any 
representative Far Eastern men from the ranks of the 
People, with a capital P, a factor we hear of so frequently, 
and know so little, in the West, and that is commonly 
supposed to wield such great power in the politics of the 
white races. In the Far East, the Masses do not, as yet, 
exercise any appreciable influence on the conduct of public 
affairs, although their alleged feelings, their opinions and 
prejudices, represented as ineradicable, are brought for- 
ward, whenever the occasion arises, by astute Oriental 
statesmen anxious to oppose a clinching " non possumus " 
to an Occidental Power's demand or advice. "It cannot 
be done. It is against the popular feeling. If we 
attempted it we would have a revolution, and then your 
commerce would suffer. Of course, we appreciate the 


justice of your demands" (or, "the absolutely dis- 
interested nature of your advice"), but the People are not 
yet sufficiently enlightened ; the People would rise to a 
man." How often have Western diplomatists had to 
listen to such representations, and how often have they 
swallowed them whole ! Were closer attention bestowed 
in the West on Far Eastern affairs in ordinary times 
not, as is unfortunately the case, only when black clouds 
gather on the Eastern horizon itr would be noticed how 
frequently the alleged determination of the People to 
resist, unto death, some proposed measure of Western 
origin, melts into thin air as soon as it suits the Oriental 
Government to enforce it, at some other time, as an 
innovation of its own, to suit its own purposes. The 
Chinese Mandarins have, by long practice, become experts 
in the use of this stratagem of statecraft. To hear their 
protestations one would think that no European politician 
"playing to the gallery," no American Populist candidate 
seeking the votes of the Many-headed, could be more 
tenderly careful of the feelings of the People. As a 
matter of fact, nowhere are those feelings so skilfully 
manipulated, so easily controlled by the ruling class, as 
in China, the country where a whisper from a Mandarin 
can, and often does, fan the passions of the mob into 
lurid flames and cause blood-curdling massacres. 

In Japan, too, the People are well in hand, but, owing 
to their superior enlightenment, and to the safeguards 
guaranteed to them by constitutional government and by 
the press (vigilant, though under restraint), they require 
very careful handling. The ability to influence the masses 
wisely is, fortunately for Japan, abundant amongst their 
natural leaders, the gentry, or Shi-zoku, from whom the 
bulk of the nation still derives its opinions in public 
matters. In Korea, the poor, down -trodden, shiftless 
masses are at the mercy of the Yang-ban, and "take 
the time of day" from "the quality." In none of 
the three Empires does " public opinion " originate 


spontaneously from the mass of the People. But does 
it in the most self-governed Occidental countries ? Ask 
the vicar and the curate, the parish priest and the 
minister, the keeper of the " Nonconformist conscience " ; 
inquire of the labour leader, of the editor of a political 
journal, and, especially, of the experienced wire-puller 
at the headquarters of any political party. 

If the Occidental popular mind is often made up in 
a way inscrutable to those not, to use an expressive 
vulgarism, "in the know," the workings of its counter- 
part in the Far East, and especially in China, are still 
more mysterious. Everything may be going on smoothly 
amidst perfect calm ; all at once a mysterious Someone, 
unknown and never to be discovered, gives a sign and 
millions are impelled to action, so deeply stirred that the 
movement bears all the appearances of proceeding entirely 
from a genuine popular impulse. Such inexplicable com- 
motions have subverted great Empires in the Far East, 
they have changed dynasties and embroiled nations in 
wars ; at other times they have subsided as suddenly, as 
unaccountably, as they arose. The mysterious Someone 
has again made a signal, and everything has returned to 
its normal condition.* Multitudes have abandoned a 

* These mysterious popular ferments are not confined to the Mongolian 
races. They exist in the Aryan and the Semitic East. Whole shelves 
are filled with histories of the Indian Mutiny, but the true story of its 
inception has yet to be written. Even its repression has its mysteries. 
What became of Nana Sahib ? We have hanged Damodar Chapekar for 
the Poona murders of Jubilee Day, 1897, but what do we know of the 
conspiracy whose tool he was ? The Behar Mango-Tree-Smearing Mystery of 
1894 is still unexplained, baffling our most astute " Politicals." The truth 
is not yet known, and probably never will be, as to the Great Diamond 
Case of 1891, when that gifted and mysterious person I know him well 
who deals in precious stones under the assumed name of "Mr. Jacob," 
immortalised by Marion Crawford as " Mr. Isaacs," defied the Nizam cf 
Hyderabad, and the British Raj to boot, and came off scot-free. What 
do we know of the hidden springs that actuate the onward movement of 
Babism in Persia, or of those that made Mahdism a devastating power ? 
And who can clearly trace the extraordinary Revival of Islam, in the last 
quarter of the nineteenth century, to its source ? 


movement, that seemed deeply rooted, as unanimously as 
they took it up. The Far East thinks and acts by millions. 

Although the masses in Eastern Asia are so easily 
led by those to whom they look for guidance in China 
this is facilitated by the purely democratic spirit of its 
institutions, those in power being, frequently, of very 
humble origin, and, consequently, understanding the People 
thoroughly although the lower classes are docile and 
law-abiding to a remarkable degree, there is a point 
beyond which it is not safe to push them. In China, 
where the Mandarin is vested with such, apparently, 
tremendous power ; in Japan, whose Government has 
stringent Press laws, and a perfect system of detective 
and repressive police at its -disposal ; in Korea, where the 
poor man is delivered into the hands of the aristocracy 
in all three Empires there are limits, well-defined for 
those who know them, that the rulers dare not over-step. 
To ignore these bounds would at once transform the 
patient, toiling millions into fierce, irresistible multitudes, 
whole races in arms in a cataclysm that would sweep 
away the imprudent rulers and their work. And the rulers 
know it. The West, apparently, does not, to judge by 
what is daily written and spoken about the future of the 
Far East. Whenever the opportunity occurs in these 
pages, I shall strive to indicate these points of utmost 
strain to which the docility of Chinese, Japanese, or 
Koreans, can be subjected. 

In dealing with the mental characteristics and natural 
dispositions of the predominant classes in Eastern Asia, 
I propose to consider the Japanese first, because it was 
the Empire of the Rising Sun that gave the Old Far East 
its death-blow. vhe New Far East is the Far East as 
Japan has made it by her adaptation of Occidental civilisa- 
tion, and by the results of the policy towards her neigh- 
bours the new methods enabled her to pursue.\ This 
policy, although only partially successful, so far, and 
productive of some momentous consequences not foreseen 


by its originators, entitles Japan to be considered as the 
paramount Asiatic factor in the Far Eastern Question. 
Inactive partly owing to wise, patient statesmanship, 
partly on account of difficult financial and economic cir- 
cumstances whilst the hubbub of the Occidental " scramble 
for China" raged most fiercely in her immediate vicinity, 
she wields, by her very reserve, tremendous potential 
influence. IQuietly and steadily doubling her already 
formidable sea -power, unremittingly strengthening and 
improving her splendid army, she is daily increasing the 
value of her alliance to the nation fortunate enough to 
secure iE\ Without firing a shot, she obtained in Korea, 
early in 1898, what must appear, in the eyes of the East, 
a great victory over Russia, whatever its results may be 
in later years7\ And, above all, her position of prudent 
restraint has gained for her in China a moral victory 
greater, by far, than any material land-grabbing, or con- 
cession-snatching, success she might have achieved. Japan 
holds the key of the Far Eastern position. It is her ruling 
class we must study first if we wish to have a clue to 
the solution of the Far Eastern problem. 

If we consider the various estimates of the Japanese 
character formed by the Occidentals who have enjoyed 
the best opportunities of studying it from Saint Francis 
Xavier to Mr. Lafcadio Hearn, from Will Adams, "Pilot 
Maior," of Gillingham, Kent, to Professor Basil Hall 
Chamberlain, through a long series of observers, mission- 
aries, merchants, diplomatists, sailors, men of science, 
poets, and travellers we must be struck by the extra- 
ordinary diversity of their views. On the one hand, from 
good St. Francis Xavier's warm-hearted appreciation of 
the Japanese of the middle of the sixteenth century : 
"This nation is the delight of my soul," and honest Will 
Adams's encomium of those of fifty years later : " The 
people of this Hand of lapon are good of nature, curteous 
aboue measure and valiant in warre ; their iustice is 
seuerely executed without any partialitie. . . . They are 


gouerned in great ciuilitie . . . not a land better gouerned 
in the world by ciuil policie . . . /' confirmed nearly a 
century afterwards by Engelbert Kaempfer, the observant 
German surgeon, who wrote : " In the practice of virtue, 
in purity of life, and outward devotion, they far out-do 
the Christians . . . ," down to the glowing poetic eulogies 
from the pen of Sir Edwin Arnold, and the exquisite prose- 
pictures of Lafcadio Hearn, in our day, praise has been 
lavished on the Japanese by men whose judgment must 
command our respect. 

Unfortunately for the puzzled inquirer, an array of 
other eminent men stands opposed to these laudators with 
condemnation as severe as language can express. We 
may take for what they are worth the angry diatribes 
written in the early 'sixties by men who were in constant 
danger of their lives amongst a population on whom they 
were forcing, vi et armis, their unwelcome presence, the 
plaints of baffled diplomatists, tired out by Oriental pro- 
crastination, designed to gain time, and overmatched by 
Asiatic cunning ; we may dismiss the spiteful utterances, 
frequent to this day, of disappointed would-be exploiters, 
of sorrowing concession-hunters, and of irritated Occidentals, 
chafing in their voluntary exile, who belong to the 
numerous class to whom any Oriental is, morally, a 
"nigger," when he is not a "damned nigger." To such 
people, daily contact with a proud race, more intellectual, 
more polished, more truly cultured than their own coarse 
selves, becomes exasperating to a degree. If we put 
aside as untrustworthy the opinions of the classes just 
enumerated, we cannot entirely disregard the deliberately 
expressed views of some trained observers, of men of 
science versed in psychology, of shrewd lawyers and level- 
headed merchants, who find but little to praise in the 
Japanese character, but much to blame, and to blame 
strongly and honestly not, as is the case with some 
travellers, merely for the sake of the supposed dis- 
tinction to be obtained by differing from the majority 


of judges, nor, like certain "smart" journalists, in order 
to raise a silly laugh by cheap and vulgar ridicule, or to 
start a "boom" by unexpected violent denunciation. 
Nor can we neglect to take into account the faint praise 
wherewith some eminent authorities, who have enjoyed 
exceptional opportunities, have condemned the Japanese 
in more or less guarded remarks, whose sub-acid flavour 
is perceptible through the very thin coating of sugar. 
And, lastly, what are we to think of the remarkable 
discrepancy between the opinions of our friend who has 
returned enraptured, after a stay of a month or two 
amongst "the most charming people in the most 
delightful country . in the world," and who wants to 
revisit it soon (every traveller does), and those of that 
other friend of ours, come "home" for a holiday, who 
tells us savagely that Japan, the land where he earns 
his living by the sweat of his brow a state of perspiration 
often induced by the various forms of violent bodily 
exercise that occupy a considerable portion of his bitter 
exile, football, for instance is an overrated country, 
peopled by a race of arrogant pigmies, of debased morals 
and limited intellect ? 

If we go deeper into all this conflicting evidence our 
confusion will grow worse confounded. We shall find the 
modern Japanese described as a gentle creature, so full of 
the milk of human kindness that he will pay for Buddhist 
prayers to be said for the soul of his dead dog, or cat, 
or ox, and cheerfully disburse thirty Sen for the decent 
burial, in the grounds of a temple, with a short service, 
of his lamented fourfooted friend, occasionally even a 
larger sum, so that poor doggie, or puss, may have a 
mortuary tablet, or ihai, to keep its memory green. We 
shall also find him held up to execration as a cruel 
savage, revelling in scenes of carnage, maddened by the 
smell of blood, perpetrating nameless atrocities on a 
vanquished, defenceless foe, and so callous to the suffer- 
ings of the brute creation that he eats fish alive, IOT 


choice, crimping it so deftly that the slices are held 
together only by the backbone, and fall asunder through 
the quivering induced by the addition of vinegar-sauce.* 
Horrible I Yes, just a little more horrible than the 
Occidental modes of skinning eels alive, of crimping cod, 
or of boiling lobsters and crabs in the full enjoyment of 
life and health. Go to Billingsgate Market, and hear the 
awful sound, a sort of hissing moan, when the great iron 
cage descends into the deep tank of boiling water with 
its freight of living Crustacea ! 

We are told, at the same time, that the Japanese are of 
the sweetly simple, lovable disposition indicated by their 
extreme fondness for children and their unvarying kindness 
to them, extending even to the provision, in their pantheon, 
of a special divinity to watch over the little ones,t and 
of another, Hotel, a jolly, plump, smiling god, for them 
to romp with. On the other hand, we are warned to 
beware of the Japanese. They are, it is alleged, a danger 
to the white races, for their much-vaunted progress has 
been only in things material ; their adaptation of our 
civilisation has merely laid a thin veneer over their native 
savageness. Hence our peril, we are told, and we are 
asked to consider the awful probability of a conflict some 
day with a determined race, hating us bitterly, turning 
against the West the weapons, the organisation and the 
training originally borrowed from it, but remaining at 
heart ruthless barbarians capable of the most fiendish 
atrocities. To those who thus warn us any argument 
seems futile. They at once meet it with two words : 
" Port Arthur." In their opinion, and, unfortunately, in 
that of a vast number of Occidentals, that closes the dis- 

* The custom of crimping and eating alive the carp (koi) or the tat, 
the succulent sea-bream, is far less common than it was, although raw fish 
is still a favourite dish, sliced, as sashimi, or, under the name of namasit, 
with vinegar and cold stewed vegetables. 

t The Buddhist divinity Jizo (in Sanskrit : Kshitigarbha), who typifies 
Compassion. Represented with the shaven head of a Buddhist priest, and 
a sweet expression of benevolence on his features, he holds in one hand 


cussion. The cruel massacre by the victorious Japanese 
troops of a great part of the Chinese inhabitants of Port 
Arthur is, indeed, a blot on Japan's escutcheon, but before 
deciding to accept it as conclusive proof of the whole 
nation's incapacity for true civilisation we should re- 
member the circumstances in which the dreadful deed 
was wrought. The massacre has been described ad 
nauseam in lurid columns of "expanded" telegrams, and 
of picturesquely gruesome " descriptive reporting," in the 
Western press ; it has been brought before our eyes in 
sketches by special artists and in revolting photographs, 
the latter, it is to be feared, not always as truthful as 
sun-pictures are commonly supposed to be.* The more 
sensational of the English newspapers, knowing the 
insatiable appetite of their patrons for plenty of gore 
with their breakfasts, and those American periodicals that 
have since become notorious as "Yellow Journals," 
gloated over sickening details and emphasised them by 
"scare headlines." Nothing was neglected that could help 
to publish Japan's shame to the Western world. But 
how many of the journals that disseminated the detailed 
news of the massacre had the fairness to give equal 

the mystic jewel, the nio-i hojiu, that procures the fulfilment of all desires, 
in the other the shaku-jo, the staff with six clanking iron rings at the top, 
carried by mendicant priests. His smiling effigy is to be found all over 
Japan, more frequently than that of any other god. He is the Helper 
of all who travel, of women pregnant and in travail, and, generally, of all 
creatures in trouble, but especially of children. The souls of dead children 
are exposed to the risk of cruel treatment when they reach the Japanese 
Styx, the River of the Three Roads (San-dzu-no Kawa). On its banks lurks 
the Shozuka-no Baba, a hideous old hag who robs them of their clothes. 
Once across the Styx, further trials are in store for the children. On 
the banks of another river of Hades, the River of Souls (Sai-no Kawara), 
the poor little souls are condemned to the never-ending piling- up of 
pebbles, until kind Jizo comes to their rescue. So, to lighten the labours 
of the little dead, all children, and many kind-hearted adults, when they 
pass a statue of Jizo, deposit a pebble at its base. It counts one to some 
tiny toiling spirit in the nether world. Some Missionaries, and some 
"enlightened" Japanese, look upon this act as a gross superstition, and 
one to be speedily abolished. I do not envy their frame of mind. 

* My friend, Major H. Van der Weyde, M.J.S., the well-known expert in 


publicity to the cause of the slaughter ? Very few ; 
some newspapers never mentioned the cause at all. 
Justice demands that the world should know that the 
lust of killing which possessed the Japanese on the day 
of the capture of Port Arthur was the fury of revenge. 
Every Japanese soldier who "ran amok" on that dire 
day was the avenger of his unfortunate comrades, cap- 
tured, wounded and helpless, by the enemy during the 
attack on the great stronghold, and put to horrible, linger- 
ing death by fiendish tortures such as only the cruelty of 
Chinese minds can conceive. The best-disciplined troops 
of the phlegmatic Northern nations would have been 
maddened beyond control by the awful sights that met 
the eyes of the Japanese as they entered the captured 
town on that fateful 2ist of November, 1894, a ^ er 
storming its defences, till then considered almost im- 
pregnable. I will not stain these pages by a description 
of the appalling evidences of Chinese barbarities that 
infuriated the Japanese, nor of the terrible reprisals that 
followed. Suffice it to say that the Japanese soldiers simply 
went mad for the space of some hours mad with the lust 
for blood, the terrible craving to kill, and kill, and kill, 
without caring whom or how, that has, even in this century, 
possessed some of the most rigidly-trained European troops. 

photography, who has had experience of battlefields during the American Civil 
War, made a careful examination of one of the most widely-circulated of 
these gruesome photographs, and unhesitatingly pronounced it to be a 
"faked" picture, cunningly "staged" with a view to sensational effect. 
The bodies of slaughtered Chinese had been so arranged, and some 
Japanese soldiers with fixed bayonets and drawn swords posed in such 
attitudes as to convey the impression that the photograph was an actual 
"snap-shot" taken during the massacre. The attention of certain London 
journals that were chiefly instrumental in disseminating circumstantial reports 
of the massacre, or in publishing photographs alleged to represent it, was 
called to the result of Major Van der Weyde's investigation, but in vain. 
An important newspaper, that had shown reluctance to publish details 
until the fullest inquiry had been made, was then approached, and pleaded, 
privately, that it could not take up the matter, as it would involve criticism 
of the methods employed by influential contemporaries "a breach of 
journalistic etiquette." 


We need not go back to the days of the Peninsular 
War for an instance of such "red fury" on the part of 
British troops, although the ghastly orgies that disgraced 
Wellington's heroes at Badajoz at once recur to us. In 
that case, there is no faintest trace of an excuse for the 
devilry that made the town just stormed a town in- 
habited, moreover, by the very people whom the besiegers 
had come to rescue from a foreign foe a prey to murder, 
rapine, and debauchery. The mad fit passed away, but 
not before the raving soldiery had killed several of their 
own officers who had tried to curb their frenzy. If 
evidence be needed that such terrible deeds inspired, 
however, by revenge, a nobler feeling than the gross lust 
of pillage at Badajoz have been committed by British 
soldiers within the memory of living men, we have but 
to ask anyone who saw and shuddered at the vengeance 
wreaked upon the mutineers at Delhi, and elsewhere, to 
the cry of " Remember Cawnpore ! " And not on the 
mutinous Sepoys only, but on many others of their race. 
In such hours of revenge, but little discrimination is made 
between the innocent and the guilty. Not all the French 
villagers (women among them) who were shot by the 
Bavarians amidst the blazing ruins of Bazeilles on the 
fateful day of Sedan, had fired from their windows on the 
German troops. When the French Army of Order had 
fought its way from Versailles into rebellious Paris, a 
grimy face and dirty hands were accounted proof positive 
that a man was a Communard; dishevelled hair and poor 
clothing sufficed to convict a woman, old or young, of 
being a Petroleuse on such evidence they were added to 
the long files of the condemned, placed against the nearest 
wall, and shot, or bayoneted, by hundreds, in cold blood. 
When the soldiers of the Tsar, acting under orders from 
high quarters, destroyed a whole tribe of Turkomans, as a 
" salutary example," none were spared ; the doomed tribe 
was annihilated, root and branch. 

All these facts were forgotten in the storm of indigna- 


tion raised by the news of the massacre at Port Arthur, 
and Japanls^ numerous enemies took care to improve the 
occasion. IThe impression produced on the Western mind 
was a lasting one, especially in Great Britain. When, in 
the winter of 1897-8, an alliance, or, at least, a co- 
operation for the defence of common interests in the Far 
East, seemed on the point of being arranged between 
Britain and Japan, a warning cry went up from thousands 
of well-meaning people, strenuously opposing the idea of 
an alliance with a "heathen nation" capable of barbarities 
such as those perpetrated by the Japanese at Port Arthur^ 
From the sententious editor of a high-class weekly review 
to the indignant working man writing to a popular daily, 
the " Great Heart of the Nation " was stirred to excited 
protest. Cool reflection, and a closer investigation of the 
facts, brought the public gradually into a more judicious 
frame of mind, but the mischief done was almost irre- 
parable ; the " psychological moment " had gone by, a 
jarring note had been struck, and the opportunity was 
missed of concluding an understanding, based on national 
feeling in both countries, that would have altered, to 
the benefit ^>f both, the whole course of events in the 
Far East. I The harm done was all the greater because 
the feeling against Japan, arising entirely from the Port 
Arthur massacre, had reached circles not easily influenced 
by waves of popular sentimentr\ It is no secret that in 
august regions, the British equivalent of those described 
in the courtly language of Japan as " Above the Clouds," 
the indignation caused by the news of the massacre left 
lasting traces ; and this is not to be wondered at when 
we think of the kind, sympathetic heart of the Lady of 
this Realm, shocked beyond expression by the tale of 
cruel deeds. 

For much of this mischief the Japanese Government 
has only itself to blame. In the matter of the massacre 
it acted with a want of candour and of resolution 
that seems incomprehensible to anyone not thoroughly 


acquainted with the Japanese spirit. At first, semi- 
officially inspired versions were put into circulation, 
toning down the facts, as far as possible, and attributing 
the massacre to the Transport " Coolies " and military 
labourers who followed the Japanese army rough, 
ignorant men, we were told, not properly subjected to 
military discipline (this was untrue, for the Japanese 
Provost-Marshal kept them, as a rule, in excellent order) 
and apt to use the dirks (waki-zashi) many of them 
carried, especially when under the influence of deep 
potations of sake. When the reports of war corre- 
spondents, and the sketches of special artists, who had 
been eye-witnesses of part, at least, of the massacre, made 
it impossible to conceal the truth, a Mr. Ariga a clever 
Japanese lawyer, who was, with great foresight, attached 
as Legal Adviser to the Army Headquarters, in case of 
any incident arising that might involve a point of inter- 
national law was " turned on " to try and explain away 
the worst features of the affair. He was to reason with 
the foreign journalists and to endeavour to persuade them 
that it was not a "massacre" at all, but only the "per- 
fectly legitimate " killing of Chinese soldiers, who had, 
as was their wont, thrown away in the hour of defeat 
the upper jacket and the hat, or the turban, by which 
the clothing of the Chinese " Brave " is distinguished from 
that of the civilian.* The facts that they were unarmed 
and unresisting, and, consequently, entitled to be treated 
as prisoners of war; that no notice had been given that 
quarter would be refused to them as a reprisal for their 
torture and murder of the Japanese wounded; and, lastly, 
that many of the victims were women and children all 
these were airily brushed aside by the plausible Mr. 
Ariga; yet his efforts failed. Clever international lawyer 

* This was the view embodied in the despatch addressed by the late 
Count Mutsu (then Minister for Foreign Affairs) to the Japanese Repre- 
sentatives abroad in December, 1894. It also alleged that such of the 
inhabitants as remained in Port Arthur after its investment were armed 
ind fired on the Japanese. 


and plausible pleader he might be and I have the pleasure 
of knowing him as an amiable personification of that type, 
so well-known in Germany and in Austria, the " Pacifica- 
tory Court Councillor" (Beschwichtigungs - Ho/rat} his 
case was too hopelessly bad. Finding it impossible to 
persist in denials, or in transparent excuses, the Japanese 
Government appointed a Commission of Inquiry as a 
sop to Occidental public opinion. We know that Com- 
mission of Enquiry it comes from Whitehall, from the 
banks of the Seine, from Vienna, from Washington, from 
any part of the world where there are inquisitive Members 
of Parliament, pressmen who raise a "boom," or any 
other inconvenient persons to be lulled into inactivity. 
The Commission may have " inquired " ; it has kept its 
findings strictly secret, for it has not been heard of since 
its appointment, and, probably, never will be. 

A final and grave blunder, from the Occidental point 
of view, was committed by the Japanese Government. 
The best work on the war with China that has hitherto 
appeared is, undoubtedly, The China-Japan War, by an 
able writer who veils his identity under the pseudonym 
of " Vladimir, lately of the **** Diplomatic Mission to 
Corea." This instructive book, published (with illustrations 
and clear maps) in London (by Messrs. Sampson Low, 
Marston and Company, Limited) in 1896, bears plain 
indications of its having been, if not officially inspired by 
the Japanese Government, at all events written by 
someone in close touch with it. Only in one particular 
the Port Arthur massacre does this in any way detract 
from its value as a trustworthy historical work, for, as 
"Vladimir" writes in his introductory remarks headed 
" To My Readers " : " My preference for Japanese sources 
does not affect the impartiality of the narration the 
Japanese have been uniformly fair to their adversaries, far 
more just than their own countrymen ; and it has always 
been easier to find the truth in the histories of the victors 
than in those of the vanquished. The former have greater 


self-possession, see events more clearly, and can afford to 
be impartial." Where the book seriously fails is in the 
omission of any mention of the massacre. An admirably 
clear and concise account of the capture of Port Arthur is 
given, even a description of the rejoicings with which the 
Japanese celebrated their victory, including the quotation 
of patriotic verses recited by General Nishi at the Officers' 
Banquet but not a word about the massacre ! Here the 
influence of Japanese officialdom is plainly evident. No, 
"Vladimir," that may be the way in which history is 
only too often written ; it is not the way to write 
history ! 

What was the reason that prompted this strange 
apparent lack of wisdom on the part of a Government 
otherwise remarkably sagacious ? What could have in- 
duced Ministers, at all other times so palpably anxious 
to make a favourable impression on the Western Powers, 
thus to flout the unanimous opinion of Christendom ? 
The answer is : because one of those points had been 
reached, of which I have spoken earlier in this Chapter, 
one of those limits beyond which a Far Eastern Govern- 
ment fears to proceed. Here we have a striking illustra- 
tion of the truth I have endeavoured to explain. A 
powerful Government was in the heyday of success, its 
policy seemingly justified by an uninterrupted succession 
of victories abroad, its every act ratified by a truly 
patriotic Parliament, transformed by the declaration ot 
war against China, as if by magic, from a squabbling 
congress of petty politicians, split up into mutually hostile 
groups, into a grave assembly united in the face of a 
national crisis. The Government had, as every Japanese 
Cabinet has, all the power at its disposal that a Con- 
stitution, modelled on that of Prussia, can confer, yet 
it did not dare to take the right course for fear of the 
consequences. It knew the danger of any action on its 
part which would have seemed to cast a slur on the 
army, Japan's pride, that had just gained the great prize 


of the whole campaign, Port Arthur, the fortress reputed 
impregnable throughout the Far East. [Any reprimand 
addressed to the soldiers at the front would have been 
looked upon by the people in Japan as an insult to the 
whole nation ; moreover it would, of necessity, have 
included the officers who failed to restrain their men, and 
the chief who was immediately responsible for the storm- 
ing of Port Arthurs-Lieutenant - General Yamaji. Now, 
Lieutenant - General Yamaji, the grim and taciturn com- 
mander of the First Division of the Second Army Corps, 
the " One - eyed Dragon," as his soldiers called him* 
he had lost an eye in his youth was the darling of his 
troops. To censure him, the bravest of the brave, the 
warrior as modest and unassuming as he was daring, 
stern and resolute, the very incarnation of the Japanese 
knightly spirit that was a task no Japanese Minister of 
War would care to undertake on the morrow of the 
<f One-eyed Dragon's" great victory, or even at the close 
of an uniformly successful campaign. One, and one alone, 
could have administered a reprimand to those in fault 
without risk of causing dangerous discontent in the army 
and without fear of popular resentment the Emperor's 
rebuke would have been unhesitatingly accepted as de- 
served, but there is little doubt that, had it been spoken, 
numerous cases would have occurred of both officers and 
men seeking death by their own swords as preferable to 
life under the stigma of Imperial displeasure at their con- 
duct in war. Japanese Ministers, however,- are far too 
prudent to make any but the most sparing use of the 
immense power latent in the person of the Sovereign, 

* The Dragon is, in the Far East, symbolic of supernatural strength, 
intellect, and power. The Japanese Press bestowed the same epithet 
"One-eyed Dragon " on another famous man who had only one eye 
Gambetta (" k Borgne de Cahors"). The Japanese who studied European 
politics in his time were fascinated by the patriotism, the energy, the 
fiery eloquence, and especially the pluck of the great Tribune. They can- 
not understand, and do not admire, our cold, flabby, vacillating, entirely 
unheroic, British " Statesmen " of the average type. 


\vhich is only exercised in moments of the gravest national 
emergency. Imperial intervention being, in this case, out 
of the question, the Japanese Government had to choose 
between offending their own people and ignoring the 
public opinion of the West. They decided on the latter 
course, and the fact is worth noting, as a similar dilemma 
may present itself at some future time. The Japanese 
Minister who is able to solve it satisfactorily will be a 
great statesman indeed. 

The detractors of Japan are ill-advised in dwell- 
ing too strongly on the unfortunate Port Arthur episode, 
as its consideration may lead those whom they seek to 
influence to make inquiry into the whole subject of the 
general behaviour of the victors during the war with 
China. The result of such an investigation must be a 
feeling of profound admiration for the Japanese. All who 
study impartially the history of the struggle in the Far 
East in the years 1894 and 1895 must recognise the 
existence of features in their national character that 
entitle them to a place not only amongst the nations 
we are agreed to call "civilised," but amongst the fore- 
most races of the world, those that help to mould 
the destinies of mankind. Of their virility as a nation 
they gave conclusive proof from the very inception of 
the conflict, completely refuting the opinion, so often 
expressed by many who professed to know them well, 
that they were a race of clever children, with the en- 
gaging ways of children and their incapacity for serious 
thought, or earnest, persevering endeavour. Strangely 
enough, this erroneous estimate frequently emanated from 
observers of French nationality, the very ones that might, 
with some show of reason, be reproached with the 
neurotic hyper-sensitiveness, the fickleness and the levity 
that have earned for the latter-day French the epithet of 
" en/ants terribles of Europe." 

I do not propose to adduce evidence in proof of the 
manliness displayed by the Japanese during the war and 


war, be it remembered, is the touchstone of a nation's 
virtues as well as of its defects nor do I intend to 
expatiate on their marvellous prowess in battle. Those 
who seek information on this subject will find a rich 
fund of clearly arranged facts in Heroic Japan, by 
F. Warrington Eastlake, Ph.D., and YAMADA Yoshi-aki, 
LL.B., a most interesting collection of instances of Japanese 
heroism, by land and sea, in the war with China,* every 
case cited having been fully investigated by the painstaking 
authors, even at the loss of much picturesque detail that 
had accumulated round the facts, detail that had to be 
stripped off in order to reduce to strict history what had 
quickly become legendary. In that fascinating book, 
whose only defect is a looseness in the use of naval and 
military terms, due to a want of technical knowledge, are 
to be found plain tales from the battlefields, and from the 
sea, that warm the cockles of the heart and set the blood 
tingling. These short narratives, most moving where the 
authors have left them in the quaint, concise style of the 
Orderly-room Report, or the Ship's Logbook, would require 
the pen of Rud3^ard Kipling to do them full justice. As it 
is, many of them are now embodied in the songs that are 
sung by every man, woman and child in Japan. The record 
of heroism includes not only " deeds of derring-do," accom- 
plished against fearful odds, acts of the noblest self- 
sacrifice, and instances of phenomenal endurance, but cases 
of Spartan fortitude often on the part of the women, the 
children, and the old folks left at home patriotic allo- 
cutions full of inspired eloquence, and dying speeches that 
ring out like the last notes of a bugle-call. All this was 
only what people who really knew the Japanese spirit had 
expected, for on one point observers had all along agreed : 
that the Japanese are brave to a fault, fearless, dashing, 
and skilful in the use of arms. What was not previously 

*" Heroic Japan: A History of the War between China and Japan." 
By F. Warrington Eastlake, Ph.D., and Yamada Yoshi-aki, LL.B,, etc. 
With many Illustrations and Maps. London, 1897. 


known was their possession of the ability to keep cool in 
the stress of battle that is requisite for the execution of 
Western tactics, for the effective handling of the scientific 
implements of modern artillery, and especially for warfare 
conducted with the latest types of warships and of 

The feature of the modern Japanese character, as 
revealed in the war, to which I would call particular 
attention is its humanity, shown by the generally admirable 
conduct towards the vanquished (I have pointed to the 
Port Arthur massacre as a sad exception) and by the 
perfect arrangements for the care of the sick and wounded. 
This humanity in war has not always distinguished the 
Japanese. It is one of the best fruits of the new spirit 
infused into the nation, at first only amongst the highly 
educated, but gradually permeating all classes, ever since 
the adaptation of Western civilisation commenced. In the 
wild days of the strife between clans, the Japanese were 
certainly not distinguished by any feelings of tenderness 
for the vanquished, and it is no less certain that in our 
days some of the older people wondered at the care that 
was bestowed on the wounded Chinese, at the kind 
treatment of the prisoners, and at the equitable adminis- 
tration of the enemy's territory occupied by the troops. 
To such old Tories, untouched by the modern spirit, all 
this seemed mere foolishness. "The Chinese dare to 
oppose our Emperor's august will ; they must be killed " 
such was their reasoning. But the great majority of the 
nation acquiesced in the humane tendencies of the Govern- 
ment. This is amply proved by the readiness with 
which the troops flushed with victory, and sorely tried 
by terrible hardships under the blazing sun of the Korean 
summer, or, later, amidst the Arctic frost and snow of 
Manchuria and of Northern China obeyed the strict 
orders of the Commander-in-Chief, enjoining them to 
remember that they warred against the armies of China, 
not against its unarmed inhabitants, whose lives and 


property must be respected. And except in the case 
of Port Arthur these orders were carried out to the 

In every district occupied by the Japanese, a civil 
administration was established almost before the last shots 
of the engagement had ceased to echo, and the Chinese 
population found themselves, for the first time in their 
lives, in the enjoyment of absolute security of person and 
of property, and of equal justice for alh The Civil Com- 
missioners in charge of the occupied districts were chosen 
from the Japanese Consular Service in China, and were, 
consequently, thoroughly acquainted with the character- 
istics, the social and economic condition, and the language 
of the people they were called upon to govern. They 
held the scales of justice impartially, severely repressing 
any pilfering, were it only of a fowl, or of a bag of 
millet, on the part of the Japanese soldiers. (What would 
our good friend Mr. Thomas Atkins say to this ? The ghosts 
of many chickens surreptitiously purloined, not only from 
the enemy, but as in South Africa from friendly roosts 
as well, arise in judgment against him.) Looting was 
strictly forbidden, and all supplies obtained, even in the 
smallest quantity, had to be paid for at current rates. 
The same rule applied to the requisitioning of carts and 
of beasts of burden, and to all services rendered by the 
inhabitants, who were not slow in taking advantage of 
the opportunity of earning money. Bringing ample 
supplies to the markets that were established, they 
greatly facilitated the work of the admirable Japanese Com- 
missariat the only commissariat except the German, and 
the excellent supply arrangements of the Sirdar Kitchener's 
Sudan Field Force that captured Omdurman which has 
ever gone through a difficult campaign without provoking 
curses, both loud and deep, from starving or ill -fed 
soldiers. They worked, and worked well, as Transport 
" Coolies," cheerfully carrying ammunition for the enemies 
of their country. What did it matter ? The war was 


the affair of the Mandarins, not theirs. The Japanese 
treated them fairly and paid them honestly. " A- 
Yaw ! " War was rather a good thing. Why, only 
last week a regiment of Chinese "Braves" had passed 
through the village about two hundred men with rifles 
of a dozen different patterns, three or four hundred with 
spears, and bows and arrows, and one company of a 
hundred with German rifles, all alike, acting as the body- 
guard of the Military Mandarin in command. They 
stayed but one night near the village they seemed 
anxious to lose no time on the march but they left the 
place as bare as a Buddhist priest's shaven head ; they 
killed the Ti-pao, the Village Constable, who had remon- 
strated with them, plundered his house and bore away 
his good-looking daughter. And when old YING Yu-lin, 
the Village Elder, complained to the Military Mandarin 
he got a hundred strokes with the thin bamboo for his 
pains, "for causing unnecessary disturbance," the Mandarin 

Now a Japanese battalion was quartered in the village 
it had followed close on the heels of the "Braves" 
and it had brought a Civil Deputy-Commissioner with it, 
who held a Court daily, at which any complaints were 
promptly attended to and wrongs equitably redressed, and 
marvellous to relate ! the only man who had been 
even threatened with corporal punishment was WANG 
Fung-sun, the village barber, who had, very naturally, 
provided himself with a few strings of brass " Cash " 
(silver was beyond his means) as a little douceur for 
the magistrate, when he came to the Court to sue 
Farmer Tso Ching-sing for payment of a debt. The 
soldiers, too, were quiet, well-behaved men, and their 
officers paid, cash down, for the supplies that were 
being gradually produced from sundry hiding-places. The 
able-bodied male inhabitants were all at remunerative 
work, conveying stores to the next Japanese camping- 
ground, under escort of a company, and the women were 


busy making thick wadded cotton mitts to protect the 
soldiers' hands from frost-bite, the Japanese Commissariat 
Officer supplying the pattern and paying a good price for 
the work. Truly, this war was rather a good thing ! 
Small wonder, then, that all those in the village who 
could write affixed their signatures to the petition old 
Ying drew up on their behalf, and on that of the illiterate 
majority, at the close of this beneficent war, praying 
that " the Enemy " would be graciously pleased to remain, 
and continue a rule so mild and so just that the like had 
not been known in the land since the days of Yao and 
of Shun.* " Vive notre ami I'ennemi ! " was the cry of 
the Chinese civilians, and a more justifiable one in their 
case than in that of those Parisians who greeted with it 
the Cossacks of Suvaroff after the great Napoleon's down- 
fall. The Japanese Civil Commissioners had at their dis- 
posal a force of Imperial Gendarmerie, sent from Japan 
to act as Military Police with the armies in the field. 
These Kem-pei, as they are called, are a splendid body of 
men, armed with rifle, sword, and revolver, and perfectly 
drilled, doing constabulary duty on the high roads and 
by-ways, on lonely moors and rugged mountain-paths, 
throughout Japan, in the wilds of Formosa, and in the 
Japanese Settlements in Korea. They are selected from 
time-expired Non-Commissioned Officers and Privates of 
exemplary conduct, and are absolutely trustworthy. 

I know of at least one case in which the services of 
the Kem-pei attached to a Civil Commissioner during the 
war were called into requisition against their fellow- 
countrymen. Some Chinese inhabitants of a captured town 
Kin-chau, on the Liao-tung Peninsula had complained 
to the Civil Commissioner that certain Japanese Trans- 
port "Coolies," armed with dirks, had "purchased" from 
them, for a few strings of "Cash," a number of valuable 

"The Ideal (and probably mythical) Chinese Emperors. Yao is said 
to have reigned in Shan-si (the cradle of the Chinese nation) from 2356 
to 2255 B.C., Shun from that year until 2205 E.G. 


robes of silk and satin, the infinitesimal price paid having 
been fixed by a very one-sided bargain, the " Coolies " 
ominously fingering their weapons, the Chinese speechless 
from fear. The Kem-pei were at once put on the track 
of the " purchasers/' who were arrested in their camp the 
same day, haled before the Commissioner, forced to restore 
their "bargains" to the Chinese, and severely punished. 
The benefactions of the Japanese were not confined to 
the administration of such even-handed justice, to prompt 
and fair payment for stores requisitioned and for services 
rendered payment, be it noted, in coin, not, as in the 
case of some European wars, in "Warrants" payable 
(ultimately by the vanquished nation) at the restoration 
of peace and to the carrying out of wise sanitary mea- 
sures in the occupied districts. I have before me a 
photograph, a perfectly trustworthy " snap-shot," repre- 
senting a crowd of wretched-looking Chinese congregated 
in front of the building in which the Japanese Civil Com- 
missioner in charge of the town and district of Kin-chau, 
already mentioned, had established his Court. The 
Japanese Civil Flag, white with the red sun-disc, the 
Hi-no maruj in the centre,* floats over the gateway, 
guarded by two Kem-pei with fixed bayonets, and the 
crowd are waiting patiently, as only Orientals can wait. 
And what are they waiting for ? They are the blind, 
the halt, the maimed, the lepers, and the aged paupers 
of Kin-chau waiting for their daily rations, served out to 
them from the Japanese Commissariat Stores by His 
Imperial Japanese Majesty's Civil Commissioner, who 
deems it right to feed the hungry and helpless, "enemies" 
though they be. O ! You who harp upon that one 
massacre at Port Arthur, think of the Japanese Com- 

* This is the flag that every Japanese merchant vessel flies. It is also 
the Diplomatic and Consular flag. On the Colours borne by the Army, 
and on the Ensign of the Imperial Navy, the sun-disc has rays (also reel, 
and broadening towards their ends) radiating from it to the edges of the 
flas, a beautiful and distinctive one. 


missioners feeding their poor "enemies" at Kin-chau, 
and at many other places and acknowledge that there 
must be some humane feeling deep down in the Japanese 
heart ! 

It is easy to realise the consternation of the Chinese 
population of the Liao-tung Peninsula when, after experi- 
encing the blessings of the just and honest rule of their 
conquerors, they were once more placed at the mercy of 
grasping, corrupt Mandarins. I can hardly hope to enlist 
much sympathy for these unfortunate people, who were 
permitted to have just one tantalising taste of good 
government and were then thrust back into the dark 
realm of oppression whence they had emerged for such a 
brief space. They are not picturesque, they do not send 
appeals to our press, and above all no political party 
in our midst has seen its way to utilising their woes as 
material for an agitation, but their case is, none the less, 
a hard one. Who deprived them of the new benefits 
they were beginning to appreciate so highly, who handed 
them back, bound hand and foot, to the corrupt 
barbarism of China ? Three great Christian Powers : 
Russia, France, and strange partner in this " Long Firm " 

I have used the term " Long Firm," and not without 
reason, for the annals of our Criminal Courts do not 
contain any more flagrant case of conspiracy to obtain 
valuable property by false pretences. The very nature of 
the arguments advanced by the three representatives of 
Christendom in "advising" the victorious Japanese to 
evacuate Port Arthur, and to retrocede the whole Liao-tung 
Peninsula to China, savours of the "confidence trick." 
The Russian Pecksniff, the German Chadband, and the 
French Tartuffe were only " advising " their "dear Friend" 
Japan for her own good ; she could not be allowed to 
keep the territory she had won and paid for with the 
blood of her bravest sons, it would "endanger the Peace 
of the Far East," it would "perilously affect the Balance 


of Power in Eastern Asia," and here the cat jumped 
out of the diplomatic bag, right under honest John 
Bull's dull eyes "a Power holding Port Arthur would, 
inevitably, overawe Peking, and have China at her 

The three Powers were, of course, careful to point out 
that their "friendly advice," given with their right hands 
on their sword-hilts, was uttered in the sacred cause of 
''Peace and Civilisation," a cause for which large tracts of 
Asia have been, at various times, given over to fire and 
sword. Japan, in presence of this significant admonition, 
looked round for helpful friends and found none. Britain 
gave her good advice, an inexpensive commodity, wisely 
pointing out that Japan could not hope to resist, unaided, 
what was, virtually, the peremptory command of the three 
greatest military Powers. That was cold comfort, but it 
was all Britain had to offer. At all events, it was some- 
thing that she was not cajoled into joining the Allies in 
their bullying policy, and Japan's gratitude for this small 
mercy is profound. As to the United States, they had, at 
that time, not yet discovered the importance of their 
interests in the Far East, and the Monroe Doctrine was 
still held to imply not only the non-interference of Europe 
in the affairs of the New World, but America's abstention 
from international politics in other continents. It had 
not yet come to mean America for the North Americans 
and anything else they can get for them too. Italy's 
function as a factor in the Far Eastern Question had not 
yet been discovered, nor Belgium's, as the scramble for 
the Chinese spoils had not begun and the concession-hunter 

* This last argument was advanced by Russia and her Allies early in 
the spring of 1895, ve * on ^y three years later British politicians were 
glibly explaining, in Mr. Toots's best vein, that the Russian occupation of 
Port Arthur was " really of no consequence," and continued to babble of 
"Open Doors," "Spheres of Influence," "the Yang-tsze Valley," and other 
mere catch-words, their minds still impervious to the fact that, as long as 
Ihere is a Chinese Empire, the Power that can overawe its capital holds 
China in subjection to its will. 


was biding his time. What was the conduct of the proud, 
sensitive Japanese nation, elated by its triumphs in the 
war, when suddenly ordered to give up the greatest prize 
it had secured at such cost ? The statesmen who guided 
its policy men of whom we had been repeatedly told 
that they were superficially clever, but unequal to the task 
of dealing with grave emergencies resolved to bow to the 
inevitable. They made the people understand that there 
was no possible disgrace in giving way to such over- 
whelming forces, and the nation that had been so long 
misrepresented to us as incapable of exercising political 
common-sense, indeed as unable to grapple with any 
serious problem that nation submitted with dignity to 
what was, undoubtedly, an act of injustice and, in the 
eyes of the Japanese, an almost irreparable blow to the 
attainment of their cherished object the paramount posi- 
tion in the Far East.* 

So Japan yielded, and the Chinese inhabitants of the 
Liao-tung Peninsula were handed over, in the name ot 
Civilisation, to their former oppressors, who were not 
likely to be inclined to any particular leniency towards 
people who had fraternised with the enemy, and had 
petitioned him to remain in the country for good. These 
poor folk seemed destined to lead a sort of shuttlecock 
existence, for they had scarcely time to settle down to 
the old, miserable life once more, toiling desperately to 
amass what they had to struggle quite as desperately to keep 
safe from the claws of the Mandarins, when they were 
turned over to new masters, and again in the name of 
Civilisation. Germany, in order to suit certain exigencies 
of home politics, claimed her share of the international 
plunder rather prematurely, Russia had to follow suit, and 
seized Port Arthur. The " Peace of the Far East " could 

* It is interesting .to reflect on the probable behaviour of at least one of 
the three Allied Powers in a surrender similar to the one Japan was 
compelled to submit to. How the Boulevards would have rung with cries 
of "Nous sommes truhis J" 


be kept much more easily when a police force of twelve 
thousand Russian soldiers were snugly ensconced in the 
great stronghold. As to the "Balance of Power," that 
was all right only a slight readjustment of the scales, 
just the heavy swords of Russia and her Allies thrown 
into the one from which the weight of British paramount 
influence had been unceremoniously removed. And Japan ? 
Japan was told to be good, and to run away and play 
with her nice new toy, Formosa, or romp about all by 
herself in Korea, and not to trouble herself with what 
the " grown-ups " were doing and, if she were very good 
well, she would see what she would see ! But Civilisa- 
tion got to work without delay in the new Russian 
"Sphere of Influence." She began, of course, by turning 
the majority of the inhabitants out of Port Arthur Civilisa- 
tion generally does begin by turning somebody out of 
house and home she had a new three-tailed thong fitted 
to her Plet, for she was a Russian Civilisation, and she 
proceeded to "negociate" for the "purchase" of land 
for the purposes of her railway. It is rumoured that some 
of her bargains were rather of the nature of those con- 
cluded by the Transport "Coolies" who "bought" the 
gorgeous robes at Kin-chau, and the poor Chinese of 
Liao-tung sighed for the Japanese Civil Commissioner. 

If the civilians of the districts temporarily occupied by 
Japan had cause to be grateful to their conquerors, the 
Chinese who fell into their hands as prisoners of war, 
wounded or unscathed, and those who remained in Japan 
during the conflict, had still greater reason to be thankful. 
The latter remained practically unmolested, in person and 
property, throughout the war, amply shielded by the 
orders of the Japanese Government enjoining that these 
numerous settlers should be respected, orders that were 
scrupulously obeyed by the great bulk of the population. 
The Government of the United States had offered to act 
as their protector during the war, but the Japanese 
Government had protested that it was fully able to shield 


them from harm, and the result proved the truth of its 
assertion. The German residents who had to fly from 
France in 1870 were not so fortunate as the Chinese 
settlers in the ports of Japan during the war against their 
country, nor were the United States a perfectly safe 
country for Spaniards to inhabit during the height of the 
"spy fever" in the spring and summer of 1898. 

The treatment by the Japanese of their un wounded 
Chinese prisoners was exceedingly humane. When 
the first batch of them reached Tokio, the Prefect of 
Police of the Metropolis issued a proclamation reminding 
the inhabitants, and especially the younger generation, 
of the respect due to vanquished foes. Great crowds 
assembled to see the prisoners pass, but not an unseemly 
word was uttered. So comfortable were these Chinese 
" Braves " during their captivity that many of them were 
loth to return to China at the close of the war. In the 
depositions made before Her Britannic Majesty's Consul 
at Nagasaki, on 4th August, 1894, by Captain Galsworthy, 
of the British steamship Kowshing (the transport, chartered 
by the Chinese from the Indo-China Steam Navigation 
Company, sunk, with over a thousand Chinese troops on 
board, by the Japanese cruiser Naniwa, off Shopeiul Island, 
in the Korean Archipelago, on 25th July, 1894), and by 
his Chief-Officer, Mr. L. H. Tamplin, we have accurate 
and absolutely unimpeachable testimony to the treatment 
meted out to their prisoners by the Japanese. Both these 
British sailors concur in expressing their thanks for " every 
care and attention necessary for their comfort" received 
during their detention by the Japanese naval authorities. 
Lest it may be thought that they owed this considerate 
treatment to their nationality, or to their undefined status 
as " detained persons," not actually prisoners of war, I 
transcribe the following " P.S., " appended by Chief- 
Officer Tamplin to his account of the destruction of the 
Kowshing and of his detention : 

" I wish to add that the Chinese crew and officers of 


the Tsao-Kiang were being treated with every care during 
our stay at Sasebo, and the Danish gentleman, Miihlen- 
steth (sic), had the same attention that we had. The 
Chinese and the Dane had all their personal property 
with them." 

The Tsao-Kiang was a Chinese despatch-boat, captured 
on 25th July, 1894, by the cruiser Akitsushima. Her 
officers and crew, about sixty in all, were sent to Sasebo, 
the Imperial naval station in the Island of Kyu-shu, in 
the transport Yayeyama, together with Captain Galsworthy, 
Mr. Tamplin, Lucas Evangelista (a native of Manila, a 
Quartermaster of the Kowshing, who had been wounded 
in the neck by a bullet from the rifle of an infuriated 
Chinese, was picked up by a boat from the Naniwa 
and " immediately treated by the medical staff on board "), 
and a Danish electrician, named Miihlenstedt, who had 
been taken prisoner at the capture of the Tsao-Kiang. A 
few entries, taken at random from Chief-Officer Tamplin's 
diary, will show that "detention" in the custody of 
Japanese naval officers was not a very hard lot. Mr. 
Tamplin writes : " We were very well treated " (on board 
the Naniwa, whose boats had saved him and his captain 
from drowning, and from the bullets of the Chinese 
soldiers, maddened by despair when they felt the Kow- 
shing sinking under them), "dry clothes and food being 
given to us, and even the sailors bringing presents of 
sweet biscuits and things for us to eat. . . . The 
officers and men of the Naniwa were continuous in their 
efforts to give us all they could and to make things 
pleasant for us as far as lay in their power. . . . Clothes 
made on board were provided for us, and at noon" (on 
the 26th July) " we were transferred to the Yayeyama, 
the crew of the Naniwa waving us farewell. On getting 
on board the Yayeyama, Captain Hirayama received us 
very kindly and told us to make ourselves at home. . . . 
We were berthed in the captain's own cabin, and the 
officers joined in making us welcome, inviting us to the 


ward-room and offering us clothes and other necessaries," 
On arrival at Sasebo, on 2 8th July, "we were introduced 
to Lieutenant C. Tamari, Admiral's A.D.C., and taken with 
him in his steam-launch to the jetty. We were then 
conducted to the hospital, where a room was prepared 
for us on the ground floor. Lieutenant Tamari gave us 
to understand that anything that we could ask for should 
be supplied. . . . Tailor and bootmaker were in attend- 
ance ; soap, towels, and all toilet requisites were sent. 
Beer and claret, cigars, etc., and anything that we fancied 
would be sent for from Nagasaki. . . . Numbers of officers 
visited us and expressed their sympathy with us for the 
loss of our comrades, and also for our unavoidable deten- 
tion . . . 2pth July : Continued round of visitors, bringing 
flowers, eggs, and offers of various things . . . 3oth July : 
Passed in the same way, every attention being paid to 
our comfort . . . 3rd August : Lieutenant Tamari called 
with a letter from Rear-Admiral Y. Shibayama, giving us 
our freedom, etc., to make arrangements for our departure. 
We called, by invitation, on the Admiral in the afternoon, 
and thanked him for the care and attention paid to us 
by all. Many officers called in the evening to congratu- 
late us. 4th August : The Government tender Sasebo- 
Marn was placed at our disposal, and, with many fare- 
wells, left with Lieutenant Tamari for Nagasaki, where we 
arrived at 1.30 p.m., and were met by the Superintendent 
of Water Police and the Superintendent of Police, tendering 
their cards with offers of assistance." 

Evidently, " detention " in the hands of the Japanese 
naval authorities is not a bad way of spending a week or 
so ! I have devoted so much space to this subject because 
it is in connection with the sinking of the Kowshing that 
a very grave charge of inhumanity was brought, at the 
time, against Captain (now Rear-Admiral) Togo, of the 
Naniwa, and his officers and crew. As the character of 
the whole Japanese Navy is at stake under such an 
accusation, the circumstances require investigation. It has 


been alleged that the Japanese, whilst doing their best to 
rescue the Kowshing's European officers and Manila Tagal 
Quartermasters, made absolutely no attempt to save any 
of the drowning Chinese, who perished by hundreds. It 
has been, further, maintained that the Japanese in the 
Naniwa continued to rake the Kowshing's decks and to 
pour a hail of bullets, from the machine-guns in their 
tops and from small-arms, on to the sea around the 
doomed ship whilst she was sinking. Under ordinary 
conditions of naval warfare, such conduct would have been 
barbarous, but in this case the Chinese themselves behaved 
in a manner that rendered the usages of war, as recognised 
amongst civilised nations, impossible of application. The 
Chinese soldiers, more than a thousand in number, panic- 
stricken and frantic, kept up a heavy rifle-fire from the 
ports and the deck, aiming not only at the Naniwa' s boats, 
but at the Kowshing's European officers and at their own 
comrades who had jumped overboard, this insane firing 
continuing until the ship disappeared beneath the waves. 
By the rules of war, an enemy may lawfully be destroyed 
if he persist in resistance, and the Naniwa was justified in 
returning the fire as long as the Chinese continued to 
shoot. Had they ceased firing and surrendered, their 
lives would, undoubtedly, have been spared. 

At the surrender of Wei-hai-wei, on i4th February, 
1895, a large number of its gallant defenders, both naval 
and military they deserved the epithet "gallant," for, 
placed between the Japanese and the deep sea, they had 
fought, for a time, like wild cats fell into the hands 01 
the victors. By Article II. of the Capitulation, the officers 
(213 Naval Officers and Cadets, and 40 Military Officers), 
and the very mixed body of " Foreign Naval and Military 
Advisers" in Chinese employ, were released on parole, 
and, by Article III., the 2,871 Warrant Officers, Petty 
Officers, Seamen, and Stokers, and the 2,000 rank and file 
of the Army, were disarmed, and were marched, uncler 
Japanese military escort, beyond the lines of the fortress, 


taking their personal property with them, and were 
allowed to go free. This was a very wise course for the 
Japanese to pursue ; the war being nearly at an end, it 
would have caused unnecessary trouble and expense to 
have taken the five thousand prisoners to Japan for the 
short time remaining before the conclusion of the Treaty 
of Peace, and the disbanded soldiers and sailors, dispersing 
to their homes, spread tales of their sufferings during the 
siege, and of Japanese prowess, that convinced the popula- 
tion of the futility of further resistance. In the letter 
intimating the surrender of the fleet and forts, addressed 
to Admiral Ito, on i2th February, 1895, by Admiral Ting 
the last letter written by that gallant man, who com- 
mitted suicide in his cabin, the same day, by swallowing 
a large dose of opium the Chinese commander made the 
characteristic request that his men should be allowed a 
couple of days' time, before the Japanese took possession, 
"to exchange their uniforms for travelling garments." It 
must not be imagined that the Chinese warriors wanted 
to return to civil life clad in the local equivalent of 
"tourist suits;" their chief anxiety was to don anything 
that would conceal, until they reached their homes, the 
fact of their having served in the w r ar. The Imperial 
uniform does not at any time command respect nor gain 
popularity for its wearers in China, and less than ever 
during a disastrous campaign. 

To prove that humanity towards their prisoners was 
not confined to the officers and men of the Japanese Navy, 
I will cite an instance of merciful conduct which does 
honour to the kind heart of Field-Marshal Count Oyama, 
the Commander-in-Chief of the Second Army Corps, 
operating in the Liao-tung Peninsula.* On the evening 

* The military title of the Commanders-in-Chief of the Japanese Army 
Corps, and of the Chief of the General Staff at the Imperial Headquarters, 
is usually translated by " Field-Marshal," but it really corresponds to the 
British rank of " General," being the highest of the three classes into 
which General Officers are divided in the Japanese as in Occidental 


of the 27th November, 1894, six days after the capture 
of Port Arthur, Marshal Oyama was inspecting the lines 
in a heavy downpour that had soaked everything not 
under cover. Passing by a dismantled house, he noticed 
a group of Chinese prisoners standing, huddled together 
in shivering misery, under the eaves, the rain dripping 
from the roof on to their ill-clad bodies. Calling one of 
his Aides-de-Camp, the Field-Marshal said: "Those, too, 
are men. Their lives are more valuable than those of my 
horses. Take these men quickly to my stables, turn my 
horses out they must take their chance in the rain and 
see that the prisoners are warmly sheltered." The good 
Count's orders were immediately executed, much to the 
delight of the Chinese, who, when it had been explained 
to them to whom they were indebted, shed tears of 
gratitude, and were profuse in their thanks. And this 
humane action proceeded, be it remembered, from a 
commander some of whose soldiers had been ripped open 
as they lay wounded on the battlefield, stones and rubbish 
being poured into their disembowelled bodies, perhaps by 
the very men to whom he was extending his mercy ; at 
all events, by Chinese soldiery. 

With the one exception of the outburst of avenging 
fury at Port Arthur, the Japanese, indeed, returned good 
for evil, throughout the war, in the matter of the treatment 
of the enemy's wounded. Their perfectly-equipped hos- 
pitals were often crowded with wounded Chinese, who 
received the same skilful attention, the same tender 
nursing, as the Japanese. The Chinese hospitals were not 
crowded with Japanese wounded, for the simple reason 
that there were no Chinese hospitals. To the Chinese, a 
wounded comrade appears merely an encumbrance, to be 
stripped of his arms, accoutrements and uniform, and left 
to die where he fell. "CHANG Ha-hsin is down. Who 
shot him ? " one " Brave " would ask another. " The 

armies. (General, commanding an Army Corps ; Lieutenant-General, com- 
manding a Division, and Major-General, commanding a Brigade.) 


Wo-jen " (" the Dwarfs," the contemptuous term employed 
by the Emperor of China in his proclamations during the 
war when referring to the Japanese). " A-Yaw ! Very 
well, then let the Wo-jen look after him ! " And look 
after him they did, picking him up from the blood-stained 
snow, bearing him carefully to their dressing-station, and 
then to their clean, airy field-hospital, where calm, skilful 
"Dwarf" surgeons operated, and then on to their great, 
roomy, tidy base-hospital, where gentle "Dwarf" nurses 
tended him with tiny, soft hands. Well might he think, 
as many Chinese did, that the Japanese bullet had killed 
him outright, for was this not Paradise ? Surely those 
gentle women, with the low, sweet voices and the kind 
eyes, must be the angels who sprinkle the lotus with 
nectar in the Buddhist Heaven, tending the glorious buds, 
in each of which a tiny Baby-Buddha nestles ? This must 
be the commencement of a new, and happier, existence 
plenty of food, nothing to do, clean clothes and a bright, 
airy palace to live in 1 Thus the convalescent Chinese 
pondered, and he was, as a rule, quickly convalescent, for 
the wounds of all Far Eastern people heal with astonishing 
rapidity, owing to their living chiefly on a vegetarian diet 
or, at all events, eating but little meat and to their 
drinking, as a rule, only a moderate quantity of intoxi- 
cating liquor, and that not of a very injurious nature. It 
is the unfortunate fact of his being, in so many cases, too 
"beefy," and saturated with much poisonous alcoholic 
drink of the worst quality often .with a poison still more 
terrible permeating his system that makes the British 
soldier die of wounds a Far Eastern would recover from 
within a month. 

If the wounded Chinese was not absolutely beyond 
human help his cure was almost a matter of certainty, 
for of all the marvels Japan exhibited to an astonished 
world during the war the greatest was her Medical 
Service, afloat and ashore. Surgeon-Major-General Taylor, 
oi the Royal Medical Corps, was sent, when a Surgeon- 


Colonel, by the British Government to watch the working 
of the Japanese Medical Service in the field, and was 
attached to Headquarters at the seat of war. In a 
lecture he delivered, soon after his return, before the 
Military Society at Aldershot, he stated that "there was 
only one word that would adequately describe the Medical 
Services of the Japanese Navy and Army during the 
war, and that word was perfection. Not a life was lost," 
he added, "on the Japanese side that the Medical Service 
could have saved." 

The admirable arrangements for keeping the troops at 
the front in good health, and for saving their lives and 
alleviating their sufferings when sick or wounded, were 
due not only to the perfect organisation of the Army 
Medical Service, adapted from the German model, and of 
the Naval Medical Department, originally formed and 
trained under British inspiration, but also to the well- 
directed efforts of the Red Cross Society of Japan. This 
noble organisation, with a membership of over two hundred 
thousand, with branches in every part of the Empire, 
and an annual income of more than, half a million Yen, 
stands under the immediate and active patronage of the 
Imperial Family, ever foremost in good works. During 
the war it expended nearly four hundred thousand Yen on 
its merciful work,* sending three hospital-parties, consisting 
of surgeons, dressers, apothecaries, matrons, trained nurses, 
accountants, clerks, porters, cooks, and even grim detail 
" instrument sharpeners," to the seat of war, each party 
being fully equipped with every requisite for the treat- 
ment of two hundred patients. Voluntary contributions 
poured into the Society's treasury, and enabled it to 
establish auxiliary hospitals and sanatoria for the con- 
valescent in Japan, thus affording valuable aid to the 
hard-worked staff of the regular Naval and Military Sani- 

* The exact amount was 386,971 Yen, 40 Sen. The Yen, or Japanese 
silver dollar, is divided into 100 Sen, or cents, of 10 Rin each. The average 
value of the silver Yen throughout 1898 was 2 shillings. 


tary Services. At these Red Cross Hospitals no fewer 
than 1,484 Chinese wounded were treated and discharged as 
cured. Besides the work appertaining more especially to 
the sphere of action of a Society for the Relief of the Sick 
and Wounded, the Red Cross Society (Seki-ju-ji-sha) 
constituted itself the organiser of the feelings of enthusiastic 
sympathy for those who were fighting for Japan that 
animated the whole population. It gave every detach- 
ment departing for the seat of war a warm " send off," and 
took a great part in arranging the jubilant receptions that 
awaited the warriors on their triumphal home-coming. More- 
over, during the war, it undertook the free conveyance and 
delivery of the fifty thousand packages of gifts sent to the 
troops in the field, and of the six thousand seven hundred 
similar parcels forwarded to the men serving afloat gifts 
of every imaginable article likely to add to the comfort 
of the gallant fellows, lovingly presented not only by 
relatives but by the general public, the idea of these 
" love-gifts," suggested by the Liebesgaben sent to the 
German troops in 1870-71, having taken firm root amongst 
all classes in Japan. 

The Chinese, although completely ignorant of the Red 
Cross and of its sacred mission China has not subscribed 
to the Geneva Convention, to which Japan adhered in 
1886, and her "Braves" look upon its badge merely as a 
good mark to fire at, being distinctive and easy to hit 
were not entirely without "love-gifts" of their own, if a 
decree published in the Peking Gazette was ever carried 
out. This Imperial Order was to the effect that Her 
Majesty the Empress Dowager, having heard of the terrible 
hardships undergone by the troops guarding the approaches 
to the August Capital from the contemptible and impudent 
"Dwarfs," whom they were about to chastise, felt moved 
by deep compassion, and had ordered the disbursement of 
a large sum from her Privy Purse for the purchase ol a 
quantity of " yellow wine " (hoang-chiu} a liquor made 
from the yellow, glutinous millet, and equal in alcoholic 

S o 
~ !> 


a is 

. a 


strength to ordinary claret, and always drunk warm 
wherewith the "Braves" shivering on the icy hills of 
the North-East, and round the walls of Peking, might 
warm their numbed bodies and cheer their hearts. To 
anyone who is acquainted with Chinese official methods 
it seems highly probable that the poor "Braves" never 
drank that hoang-chiu, indeed, that they never even 
" looked upon it " when it was yellow or any other 
colour, but that somebody or other about the Palace had 
an appreciable increase of income at about that time, a 
benefit likely to have been enjoyed, in a minor degree, 
by several colleagues and subordinates, the rewards of 
enterprise being as much sub-divided amongst Peking 
Mandarins as amongst London " promoters " and their 

Some of Japan's Occidental detractors have alleged 
that the wonderful success of the Red Cross movement 
in Japan, the flow of contributions from rich and poor 
often from the very poor the large, admirably-managed 
Permanent Central Hospital of the Society at Shibuya, a 
suburb of Tokio, the numerous Ambulance Classes for the 
instruction of both sexes in "First Aid to the Injured," 
the devotion of the surgeons and nurses in the war, and 
the zeal with which thousands of Japanese ladies, follow- 
ing the example set by the Empress, made lint and 
bandages (six thousand bandages were made by her 
Imperial Majesty, the Princesses, and the Ladies of the 
Palace, and sent to the seat of war, through the Society, 
in October, 1894) that all this benevolent activity is 
really foreign to the Japanese character, and partook, at 
least during the conflict, of the nature of a fashionable 
"craze," destined, besides, to look well in the eyes ol 
Occidentals. How unjust such an accusation is can be 
readily proved by pointing to the grand work done by 
the Red Cross Society in time of peace, both before the 
war in the relief, for instance, of the sufferers through 
the eruption of the volcano Bandai San on I5th July, 


1888 (when 461 lives were lost, and twenty-seven square 
miles devastated by boiling mud and ashes) and after. In 
1891, the Society already had experience of relief work 
on a large scale amongst the eighteen thousand and nine 
hundred people who were more or less severely wounded 
in the earthquake ot October 28th in the Provinces of 
Mino and of Owari, when more than seven thousand 
were killed outright. The populous towns of Gifu and 
Ogaki were wrecked, and two smaller ones, Kasamatsu 
and Takegahana, were completely destroyed, great fires, 
originating, as is usually the case after an earthquake in 
Japan, amongst the ruins of the houses, raging amidst the 
heaps of wood and paper the chief building materials of 
the country and devouring what the shock had levelled 
with the ground. Altogether, nearly one hundred and 
thirty thousand houses were destroyed ; great cast-iron 
piers supporting railway bridges were snapped like carrots ; 
rails were left suspended in mid- air through the subsidence 
of embankments ; in other places the railway was trans- 
formed into a " switchback " line ; in others, again, the 
track was curiously bent into lateral serpentine undulations. 
Mountains slipped and fell into valleys, damming up rivers, 
and thus causing devastating floods, at a later period, to 
complete the havoc made by earthquake and fire. Every 
building left standing in the ravaged Provinces seemed 
tottering to ruin, except the grand old Castle of Nagoya, 
with the great dolphins of gold perched on either gable 
of its five-storied keep.* The solid masonry of the old 

* These beautiful finials of the highest roof in the Castle of Nagoya 
are dolphins, nearly nine feet high, made of gold, in 1610, at the cost of 
the famous general, KATO Kiyomasa, who built the tenshu, or keep. They 
are valued, according to that excellent work Murray's Handbook for 
Travellers in Japan, by Professor Basil Hall Chamberlain and W. B. 
Mason, at 180,000 Yen. One of the pair has been a great traveller and 
has experienced vicissitudes unusual in the quiet existence of a golden 
dolphin. He had the honour of being sent by the Imperial Government 
all the way to Vienna, to form the central attraction in the Japanese 
Section of the International Exhibition of 1873, and the misfortune to 
suffer shipwreck on the homeward voyage, when the Messageries Maritime* 


feudal castles, both at Nagoya (the fourth city of the 
Empire) and at Ogaki (close to the centre of seismic 
disturbance) showed hardly any traces of the earthquake. 
Besides the castles, two things stood fast and firm in the 
devastated region the wonderful, uncomplaining patience 
of the sufferers, and the merciful help of the Red Cross 
Society's Relief Corps. On receipt ot the news of the 
disaster, the Empress immediately set the Society's organ- 
isation in motion. In an incredibly short space of time 
a completely-equipped Hospital Corps was sent to the 
scene of the catastrophe. It treated 4,600 sufferers, who 
had been injured seriously enough to necessitate their 
entering the Field Hospitals, and of this large number 
only eleven died of their wounds or burns. The Corps 
also distributed relief to the starving people and ministered 
to the immediate wants of the thousands or widows, of 
orphans, and of forlorn old folks. 

I have mentioned the services rendered during the war 
in Korea, in Manchuria, in China, and in Formosa, by the 
sixteen hundred devoted workers equipped by the Red 
Cross Society, twenty-five ot whom succumbed to disease 
and exposure in the Arctic cold of Manchuria and Northern 
China, or the steamy heat of the fever-stricken Formosan 
jungle. The Red Cross Formosan Hospital Corps, the last 
in the field, had but recently returned from that island 
when another, and a most urgent, call was made on 
the Society's zeal. On the evening of the isth of 
June, 1896, the greatest natural catastrophe of recent 
times in the Far East overwhelmed the North-Eastem 
coasts of Japan. The sea, impelled, probably, by a 
seismic convulsion on the bed of the Northern Pacific, 

steamship Nil foundered. He was saved, with great difficulty, after a 
prolonged sojourn at the bottom of the China Sea, and reinstated in the 
exalted position he has so well occupied for nearly three centuries. It is 
rumoured that he occasionally irritates his companion across the roof 
the other Kinno shachihoko by loudly whistling rattling marches and 
dreamy waltzes learnt in the Kaiserstadt, or holding forth, at great length, 
on the manifold charms of the lively V/iener Mddel. 


rose in a huge tidal wave, rushing inland, with awful 
speed, engulfing whole districts. Nearly thirty thousand 
lives were lost, and more than seven thousand people 
were injured, whilst many thousands were rendered home- 
less and deprived of all means of support. Here again 
the Red Cross Society was the means of saving thousands 
who would otherwise have perished miserably. Donations 
for the noble work of rescue poured in from all sides, and 
it does honour to the Japan Society that, immediately on 
receipt of the news of the appalling disaster, it commenced 
to raise a fund for the relief of the sufferers.* In the 
space of less than three weeks, the Society collected 
^"3,895, and remitted that amount, by telegraph, by instal- 
ments (the first one, of a thousand pounds, on the morrow 
of the opening of the fund) to Japan, through the inter- 
mediary of the British Minister in Japan and the Japanese 
Minister in London. This prompt action on the part of 
Japan's friends in Great Britain, and the fact that the 
amount of their donation was almost three times as large 
as the total contributed from all the other countries of 
Europe, were much appreciated by the Japanese, who 
showed their gratitude in a very practical manner by 
subscribing liberally, according to their means, to the 
fund for the relief of the sufferers from the great famine 
in India in 1897. 

How honestly, how impartially and practically, the 
funds for the relief of the sufferers from the tidal wave 
were administered, may be gathered from the testimony 
of many eye-witnesses, amongst others that of Monseigneur 
Berlioz, the Roman Catholic Bishop in Northern Japan, 
who wrote, at the time, to express his admiration of the 
promptness, the energy and the fairness with which the 
relief was distributed, and of the excellent, practical 
measures taken by the Japanese authorities immediately 

* A public meeting, convened, at the Society's request, by the Lord 
Mayor of London, who presided, was held at the Mansion House, and 
the fund to be raised was placed under the control of the Society's Council 
as a Committee. 


after the cataclysm. I will cite two instances of the 
spirit in which the relief was received by the sufferers. 
In one village, near Kamaishi, money was given to the 
few survivors of the Fishermen's Guild, to enable them 
to purchase a boat, nets and tackle. A month later, they 
returned about a third of the sum to the Relief Com- 
missioner, stating that they had procured what they 
required at smaller cost than they anticipated. At a 
hamlet in the same district some miserably poor folk, 
the survivors of an industrious population who earned a 
precarious livelihood by cultivating small patches amongst 
the rugged mountains near the sea, and by fishing, were 
visited by the Relief Corps of the Red Cross Society. Of 
one large family the sole survivor was found to be an 
old woman ninety years of age ; of another, a baby two 
months old. Houses and boats had all been swept away, 
in a moment, with nine-tenths of the inhabitants. The 
Relief Corps at once commenced a liberal distribution of 
food, clothing, and money for the purchase of farming 
implements, boats and nets. The Headman of the little 
village, acting as spokesman for the rest, requested that 
the relief tendered to them be reduced in quantity, "as 
the people in the next village were in a worse plight, and 
needed help more than they did." Honorary Secretaries 
of Occidental relief funds, and Almoners of charities, please 
note and compare ! 

I shall now relate a few instances of the behaviour of the 
Japanese Medical Staff during the warfare at sea, because 
a modern naval action, with its accumulation of horrors, 
is calculated to test to the utmost the efficiency and the 
devotion to duty of those whose work is carried on under 
the greatest difficulties and earns the smallest meed of 
glory. Moreover, the three episodes of the great sea- 
fight off the Yalu that I have selected out of many throw 
a vivid light on typical features of the Japanese character. 
So I shall tell the plain, unvarnished tale of three MEN, 
and how they bore themselves in the fierce battle. 


The first of the three is Inspector of Hospitals and 
Fleets KAWAMURA Hoshu, M.D., the Principal Medical 
Officer of Vice-Admiral Ito's squadron. When, at three 
minutes past noon on the seventeenth of September, 1894, 
the Japanese naval ensign was hoisted at the main on the 
flagship Matsushima, as the signal to engage, every officer 
and man stood at his post clad in the "rig of the day," 
not, however, as might have been expected, in the oldest 
clothing compatible with the requirements of the Dress 
Regulations, but in his "Number One" garments, hastily 
donned in accordance with the knightly tradition of Old 
Japan, that a warrior should face death in his best apparel.* 
As the squadron steamed towards the enemy's centre, 
reserving its fire, in spite of the provocative cannonade 
directed against it, until well within three thousand yards' 
range, Inspector Kawamura and his staff stood to their 
quarters at the operating tables in the cockpit. 

At 2.30 p.m., the Matsushima being hotly engaged with 
Admiral Ting's flagship, the great battleship Ting-yuen 
"made," and very well made, "in Germany," and ulti- 
mately torpedoed by the Japanese at Wei-hai-wei 
wounded men began to be carried below, and the Medical 
Staff were soon busy. Whilst they were at their work, a 
shell from one of the heavy guns of the ironclad Chen- 
yuen that had come to the assistance of her sister-ship, 
the Ting-yuen, now on fire, and stood by her bravely 
entered the Matsushima at the bow, and burst, shattering 
a gun and making havoc on the lower deck, involving in 
the ruin the surgery where the doctors were operating. 
The deck was burst open beneath their feet, and Dr. 
Kawamura was thrown with tremendous force against 
the deck above. Falling amongst the wreck of the surgery, 
he lay stunned for a while. On regaining consciousness, 
trembling violently from the shock, he crawled through 

* In our own Royal Navy it used to be the custom for men ordered to 
abandon a ship, sinking or on fire, to put on their "No. i rig," if time 
permitted, so as to save their most valuable clothes. 


the debris and was picked up by a Bluejacket, who tried 
to cany him to a comparatively safe place. The man 
had not taken his burden many yards when the Inspector, 
now fully conscious, asked him if he were " not a Seaman- 
Gunner ? " On receiving an affirmative reply, he took 
the astonished Bluejacket severely to task. " What are 
you doing away from your station at the gun ? Put me 
down instantly and go back to your post ! " he ordered 
sternly. The man pleaded that he had no station to go 
to, now that the gun he served had been destroyed by 
the enemy's shell. "Then your place is at another gun, 
to fill up some casualty," rejoined the imperturbable 
Doctor, adding, with the politeness that never leaves a 
Japanese, be he bleeding from a dozen wounds : " I thank 
you for your well-meant exertions, but I order you, as 
your officer, to put me down ! There are men properly 
told off to bear the wounded the Bandsmen, for instance." 
The Bluejacket urged that the gallant musicians had fallen 
in as volunteer gunners, to replace men killed or wounded 
(and right well they performed their unwonted duty). 
"Never mind," said the Inspector, "there are the 
Stewards and the Writers left to attend to the 
wounded. No fighting man may do so unless specially 
ordered."" Put me down ! " The man reluctantly obeyed, 
and went off at the double to help at a gun. The 
Doctor, sitting on the deck, tried to remove his shoes, 
which were full of blood, his legs and feet being 
severely wounded by the explosion. The pain caused 
by the attempt made him lose consciousness a second 
time. A Sick-Bay Attendant, who had escaped un- 
injured, now came up, took off the Inspector's shoes 
and socks, and bore him to the Captain's cabin, which 

* In the Japanese Army, as well as in the Navy, the modern German 
rule is strictly followed in this respect. It puts a stop to what has been 
called "Victoria Cross hunting," and ensures the presence of every 
combatant where he is most needed in the fighting line. " Been to take 
a wounded comrade to the rear, sir! " is not accepted as an excuse for 
absence from the front. 


had promptly been transformed into a surgery after the 
wreck of the original cockpit. Regaining consciousness, 
the Doctor called for a bucket of sea-water. A bucket 
was let down over the side into the sea, lashed into 
foam by the hail of shot and shell, and brought up. 
Kawamura plunged his feet into it to stop the flow of 
blood, bandaged them temporarily, and resumed his work 
of directing the labours of the remaining surgeons and 
their assistants. I think I am justified in asking the printer 
to describe him as a MAN, in capital letters. 

The next naval medical officer of whom I shall write 
is my friend Surgeon Usui Hiroshi, of the Imperial 
Japanese Navy, a member of the Japan Society of London, 
who was, when an Assistant-Surgeon, the medical officer 
in charge on board the Akagi, a gunboat of 615 tons, 
with a speed of only twelve knots the smallest and 
slowest of Admiral Ito's ships an armament of one 
24-centimetre Krupp gun, one 12 -centimetre gun, also 
from the great works at Essen, and two machine-guns, 
and a complement of one hundred and twenty-six officers 
and men heroes every one of them. 

The naval annals of Britain are full of instances ot 
desperate gallantly against fearful odds, but none more 
worthy of admiration than the running fight kept up, 
against overwhelming superiority of numbers, of speed, 
and of armament, by this plucky little gunboat of Japan's 
young navy, on the memorable day off the mouth ot 
the Yalu. The Akagi, owing to her slowness, greatly 
hampered the movements of Vice-Admiral Ito's squadron, 
and although every effort was made to afford her and 
the other slow ships, the Hiyei and Fuso, and the armed 
ex-merchantman, Saikyo-Maru, all possible protection she 
had repeatedly to face the fire of several ot the large 
Chinese vessels, who singled her out as a presumably easy 
prey. They had reckoned without their host, for the 
brave man who commanded her Commander SAKAMOTO 
Hachiroda knew but one way of defence : the best way, 


that consists in taking the offensive, and, when they 
bore down upon him, he blazed away furiously at the 
great Chinese battleships and cruisers, directing his fire, of 
course, only to the parts where they were vulnerable. 
This gallant officer, who honoured me with his friendship, 
was not only brave and skilful, he had great technical 
knowledge of his profession, gained, partly, during the 
years he had spent in the Russian Navy and, after- 
wards, as Naval Attache to the Japanese Legation at 
St. Petersburg. He was an excellent Russian scholar, and 
I well remember how, whilst sharing his countrymen's 
not unnatural distrust of Russia's intentions in the Far 
East, he used to speak with affectionate and grateful 
admiration of his old shipmates in the Tsar's Navy, and 
of the charming people who had captivated him, as they 
do all strangers who sojourn on the banks of the Neva. 
Alas ! This brilliant officer, who seemed destined to 
render such great services to Japan, was not to see the 
close of the battle in which the service he adorned won 
undying fame.. Early in the action, he had swept the 
bridge of the Chinese ironclad Lai-yuen with his starboard 
guns, killing or wounding all those upon it, and held his 
own against the furious onslaught of the enemy's left 
wing, delivered at 800 yards. The hail of Chinese shot 
and shell was, fortunately, badly directed, or the Akagi 
must have been destroyed at this stage, but presently the 
enemy got the range, and one of his shells burst just over 
her, killing Midshipman HASHIGUCHI Kojiro and wound- 
ing Lieutenant SASAKI Kosho, who was immediately 
attended to by the Surgeon, Dr. Usui. 

The next missile that burst on the Akagi, at 1.20, p.m., 
did dire execution. It killed brave Commander Sakamoto 
at his post and two Seamen-Gunners at one of the machine 
guns, whilst two others were borne below to the Surgeon, 
who from this moment was uninterruptedly at work, aided 
only by one Hospital Attendant, for the rest of the 
engagement, The death of the Commander supplied a 


crucial test of the quality that weighs more in the scale 
of victory than heavy armour or great guns coolness 
under fire. Without a moment's hesitation, Lieutenant 
SATO Tetsutaro, the Navigating Officer, took the Com- 
mander's place on the bridge, and assumed the command 
which devolved upon him as the senior surviving officer. 
As he was calmly directing the little ship's stout fight, 
a shell, bursting in the engine-room, killed four stokers, 
wounded a fifth, and cut through a steam-pipe, whilst 
another shell, almost simultaneously, struck the upper 
deck, exploded, and killed three Seamen-Gunners. 

The Akagi's plight was now a desperate one. Clouds 
of scalding steam from the broken pipe filled the engine- 
room, and the supply of ammunition to the fore part of 
the ship was cut off. The Assistant Engineer, ISOB 
Ichijiro, rushed back into the hissing steam, followed by 
Petty Officer IWANO Namisuke. Together, they managed 
to open a port, which allowed egress to some of the 
scalding vapour, and the Engineer, putting a blanket 
over his head, approached the broken pipe and succeeded 
in fastening the blanket over the fracture, thus enabling 
Chief Engineer Hirabe and his staff to execute temporary 
repairs so satisfactorily that the vessel's speed was not 
lowered to any appreciable extent. Shot after shot was, 
meanwhile, telling on her decks. The wounded had to 
be removed to the ward-room, and when that became 
unsafe splinters flying through it and killing a man as he 
lay waiting for his turn to have his wounds dressed the 
captain's cabin was transformed into a surgery, the dining- 
table being used as an operating-table. Presently, the 
Hospital Attendant was wounded, and Dr. Usui had to 
perform all the operations thereafter without the use ol 
aneesthetics, having no trained man to administer them 
whilst he plied the knife or the probe. Not a sound 
escaped the lips of any of his patients, save one, mortally 
wounded, who gasped : " Has the Ting-yuen been sunk 
yet ? " He was told that the Chinese flagship was badly 


damaged and on fire. " We have her at last ! " he cried 
and died with a look of exultation. 

I have seen a water-colour drawing, by an officer who 
was present, representing the upper deck of the gunboat 
at this stage of the fight shambles is the only word to 
describe that deck, strewn with bodies and reeking with 
blood. Changing her course repeatedly, the plucky ship 
fought on valiantly. A shell carried away her mast, from 
which the ensign and signals were flying. Instantly, three 
Petty Officers, IWANO Namisuke", the same who had rushed 
with the Engineer through the escaping steam, UYEDA 
Jutaro, and IKEMOTO Nobuchika, rigged up, on the 
remaining stump, the mast of one of the ship's boats as a 
jury-mast, from which the flags soon fluttered once more. 
At 2.15, a shell again struck the bridge, wounding Lieu- 
tenant Sato. Handing over the command of the ship to 
Lieutenant MATSUOKA Shuzo, the only remaining com- 
batant officer able to stand, he went below to have his 
wound hastily dressed by the Surgeon. As soon as this 
was done, he returned to the bridge and resumed command 
of the ship. Had Lieutenant Matsuoka been killed, or 
disabled, during his brief command, and had Sat5's injury 
been so serious as to incapacitate him from returning to 
duty, the command of the ship would have devolved, 
according to the hierarchy of the Japanese Navy, upon 
the only available commissioned officer Assistant-Surgeon 
Usui the Engineer Officers could not be spared from the 
engine-room the world would have been treated to the 
novel spectacle of a doctor fighting a ship, and, from what 
I know of Dr. Usui, I feel sure he would have quitted 
himself as manfully on the bridge as he did in the cockpit. 

By this time, the number of men fit for duty had been 
terribly reduced. One of the machine-guns was served 
by the Signalman, and, during Lieutenant Sato's absence 
in the surgery and Lieutenant Matsuoka's command in his 
stead, the duties of Gunnery Officer, or Officer of Quarters, 
were ably performed by a Leading Seaman-Gunner. At 


2.20, the Akagi's most obstinate adversary, the ironclad 
Lai-yuen, closed to 300 yards. With a desperate effort, 
the crew of the gunboat's stern-gun poured a rapid fire 
on the Lai-yuen, and succeeded, with a well-aimed shell 
that struck her deck aft, in setting the great Chinese 
warship a-blaze. The other Chinese ships went to their 
consort's assistance, and the gallant little Akagi, justly 
proud of her share in the day's great deeds, drew off to 
safe quarters to complete the repairs to her steam-pipe, 
and to give the crew a well-earned rest, and rejoined the 
flagship at the close of the engagement. Assistant-Surgeon 
Usui was the only man on board for whom there was no 
rest on that day, nor for many days to come. The Akagi 
had lost two officers and nine men killed, and had two 
officers and twelve men wounded, most of them severely ; 
a total of twenty-five casualties out of a complement of 
one hundred and twenty-six. The Doctor was promoted 
to Surgeon, received the decoration "For Valour,"* and 
was asked what special favour he would desire from the 
Imperial Government. His answer was : " To be sent to 
London, for a couple of years' study at St. Thomas's 
Hospital." His desire was fulfilled. Another MAN, I 
trow ! 

One more true tale of the great sea-fight, and I shall 
have done with scenes of bloodshed. In the thick of the 
fight, the Hiyei was penetrated by a Chinese shell, which 
exploded in the ward-room, transfonned into a hospital, 
where the medical staff, assisted by the Paymaster and 
his Clerks, were ministering to the numerous wounded. 
Staff-Surgeon Miyake (the ship's principal medical officer), 
Paymaster Ishizaka, and several of the wounded lying in 
the ward-room were killed, and the whole medical staff 
killed or wounded. The place was filled with the burning, 
acrid fumes of the high explosive ; heartrending groans 
arose from the confused mass of wreckage. Suddenly, a 

* The Japanese equivalent of the Victoria Cross the Kin-shi, or " Golden 


figure started up from a dark corner and staggered to its 
feet. Could that be a man ? The face was mangled and 
distorted beyond recognition, the hair and eyebrows burnt 
off, but the husky voice was still audible that addressed 
the men who had rushed down from the upper deck 
to render assistance. And the voice said : " I am First- 
Class Hospital Attendant MIYASHITA Sukejiro, and sorely 
wounded. My poor body is now useless, but my mind 
is still clear. I can tell you, who are unskilled in surgery, 
what to do, and how to dress the wounds of these others. 
The antiseptics are over there, in that locker. There is 
not much of them left, even if the explosion has not 
destroyed them. Please use them sparingly." And, 
scarcely able to stand, he began to direct them how 
to attend to the horribly mangled men who lay on the 
deck all round. Lieutenant-Commander SAKAMOTO Toshi- 
atsu, filled with admiration at the Petty Officer's devotion, 
addressed him thus : " Your words and bearing prove you 
to be a truly gallant man, and a loyal subject of our 
Emperor. Should this day be your last, I shall see to it 
that your noble devotion be known all over Japan." 
Miyashita, almost blinded by the explosion, replied, at- 
tempting to salute : " Are you Commander Sakamoto ? 
You see how that shell has served me. Well, I am quite 
willing to die, if die I must ; but what vexes me is that 
my hands and feet are now useless, so that I cannot do 
my duty whilst there is life in me." With clenched teeth 
and panting breath, suffering tortures, he still tried to find 
instruments, bandages and drugs for the improvised hospital 
ward to which the survivors were being removed, but the 
Lieutenant-Commander ordered him to consider himself off 
duty, and insisted on his lying down. He was landed at 
Sasebo several days after, with the other wounded who 
could be moved, and it is pleasing to know that, he 
recovered at the Naval Hospital there so completely that 
he was able to return to duty. Truly, again, a MAN ! 
I have related the tale of the steadfastness of three 


Japanese men ; it is only right that I should state that 
the records of the war-time teem with instances of heroism 
on the part of Japanese women. Their brave hearts and 
staunch patriotism did not lead them to deeds of valour 
in actual righting although many volunteered for the 
army and were sorely grieved at their services being 
refused but to serve their beloved country in the many 
ways open to their sex. Of their services as nurses in 
the field, and in hospitals at home, I have already 
spoken, also of their activity in making bandages, and 
charpie, but these occupations were, of course, only 
possible for a minority of the women of Japan. One 
way of serving the national cause was within the reach 
of all of them, and all, without exception, adopted it 
they encouraged their relatives leaving for the front, many 
worked hard and uncomplainingly to keep the little home 
together whilst the husband was away fighting; they sent 
comforts of all kinds, lovingly prepared, to the warriors in 
the field or at sea, and if the dread news came that a 
loved one would never return, they bore their sorrow 
with noble resignation. There were many like that grand 
old dame, whose husband and eldest son were killed in 
action, whilst her only other son died of sickness in a 
field-hospital, and who, when the first two bereavements 
were announced to her, shed not a tear. But when the 
news of her second son's death was broken to her, as gently 
as might be, by an officer home from the seat of war, 
she wept, because, she said, she had no other sons to 
send out to die for the Emperor and for Japan. 

In all the good works done by the women of Japan 
during those months of national stress their natural leader, 
the Empress, gave a noble example. It was this gracious 
lady, as kind-hearted and gentle as she is graceful and 
accomplished, who took the lead in every movement for 
the mitigation of the horrors of war. She it was who 
gladdened the wounded and the sick by her periodical 
visits to the hospitals, where not only her own country- 


men but enemies, too, were being tenderly nursed, and 
it was her womanly heart that prompted the humane 
action of the Japanese authorities, who, when articu- 
lated artificial limbs, made, and beautifully made, in Japan, 
were given to those of the Emperor's soldiers and sailors 
who had been maimed in the war, included in the 
distribution those Chinese prisoners who had undergone 
amputation in Japanese hospitals. If that be not practical 
Christianity, it seems to me a very good working imitation. 

Finally, to give an insight into the feelings of chivalry 
that can move the Japanese even in these prosaic days, 
and at a time when they might well have been exasperated 
by the unexpectedly protracted resistance of their foes, I 
shall give some account of Vice-Admiral Ito's relations 
with Vice-Admiral Ting, and of his conduct on being 
informed of his gallant adversary's death. 

The relations between the opponent leaders will be 
best understood, and the character of the great Japanese 
Admiral most clearly revealed, by the perusal of the letter 
he sent to Admiral Ting on the 25th of January, 1895, 
five days before the commencement of the actual attack on 
Wei-hai-wei. This document is of such importance as to 
warrant its reproduction unabridged. These are the words 
of ITO Sukehiro, Vice-Admiral, and Commander-in-Chief of 
the Imperial Japanese squadron off Wei-hai-wei : 

" I have the honour to address this letter to your Excellency. 
The vicissitudes of the times have made us enemies. It is a mis- 
fortune. Yet it is our countries that are at war. There need be 
no hostility between individuals. The friendship that formerly 
existed between you and me is as warm as ever to-day. Let it not 
be supposed that in writing this letter I am actuated by any idle 
purpose of urging you to surrender. The actors in great affairs often 
err; the onlookers see the truth. Instead of calmly deliberating 
what course of procedure on his own part is best for his country, 
best for himself, a man sometimes allows himself to be swayed by 
the task in which he is actually engaged, and takes a mistaken view; 
is it not then the duty of his friends to advise him and to turn his 
thoughts into the right channel ? I address myself to you from 
motives of genuine friendship, and I pray you to appreciate them. 


What is the origin of the repeated disasters that have befallen the 
Chinese arms ? There is, I think, little difficulty in discovering the 
true reason if one look for it calmly and intelligently. Your discern- 
ment has, doubtless, shown you the cause. It is not the fault of one 
man that has brought China into the position she now occupies; 
the blame rests with the errors of the Government that has long 
administered her affairs. She selects her servants by competitive 
examination, and literary attainments are the test. Thus it results 
that her officials, the repositories of administrative power, are all 
literates, and that literature is honoured above everything. Her 
practice in this respect is as uniform to-day as it was a thousand 
years ago. It is not necessarily a defective system, nor does it 
necessarily produce a bad Government. But a country can never 
preserve its independence in practice by such means. For you know 
well what troubles Japan had to encounter thirty years ago, what 
perils she had to surmount. She owes her preservation and her 
integrity to-day wholly to the fact that she then broke away from 
the old and attached herself to the new. In the case of your country 
also, that must be the cardinal course at present ; if ypu adopt it, I 
venture to say that you are safe ; if you reject it, you cannot escape 

" In a contest with Japan, it has long been fated that you should 
witness results such as are now before you. Can it be the duty of 
faithful subjects of the Empire, men really solicitous for its welfare, 
to swim idly with the tide now sweeping over the country by the 
decree of an ancient fate, making no effort to stem it ? A country 
with a history running back thousands of years, and territories 
stretching tens of thousands of miles, the oldest Empire in the 
world, can it be an easy task to accomplish for such a country a 
work of restoration, placing its foundation on a permanently solid 
basis ? A single pillar cannot prevent the fall of a great edifice. 
Is there any latitude for choice between the impossible and the 
disadvantageous ? To hand over squadrons to the foe, to surrender 
a whole army to an enemy, these are mere bagatelles compared 
with the fate of a nation. By whatever reputation a Japanese 
warrior may possess in the eyes ot the world, I vow that I believe 
your wisest course is to come to Japan and wait there until the 
fortunes of your country are again in the ascendant, and until the 
time arrives when your services will be again needed. Hear these 
words of your true friend. Need I remind you that the annals of 
history contain many names of men who have removed a stain from 
their names and lived to perform great deeds? MacMahon, of 
France, having surrendered and passed over into the enemy's 
country, came back after a time and assisted in reforming the 
French administration, the French not only forgetting his disgrace 
but even elevating him to the post of President. Similarly, Osman 


Pasha, after losing the fortifications at Plevna, and being himself 
captured, came home to Turkey, where he rose to be Minister of 
War, and acquired a high reputation in connection with his mili- 
tary reforms. If you come to Japan, I can assure of the good treat- 
ment you will receive, and of the Emperor's favour. Not only has 
His Majesty pardoned subjects of his own who had raised the 
standard of rebellion, but he has rewarded their talents by elevating 
them to positions of high trust, as in the case of Admiral Enomoto, 
now a member of the Cabinet, and of OTORI Keisuke, a Councillor 
of State. There are many such instances. In the case of men of 
note who are not His Majesty's subjects, his magnanimous treat- 
ment of them would certainly be even more marked. The great 
question that you have now to determine is whether you will throw 
in your lot with a country that you see falling to ruin, and be 
involved in a result inevitable under unchanged administrative cir- 
cumstances, or whether you will preserve the strength that remains 
to you and evolve another plan hereafter. It has generally been 
the habit of warriors of your country to use haughty and rough 
language in addressing their foes, but I address this letter to you 
from motives of pure friendship, and I entreat you to credit my 
sincerity. If happily, reading these word's, you accept my counsel, 
I shall, with your permission, address some further remarks to you 
on the subject of giving practical effect to the idea. 

(Signed) " Iro Suk6hiro, 

" Vice-Admiral, Commancler-in-Chief of His Imperial 
" Japanese Majesty's Squadron." 

It has been hinted by some that the phraseology of 
this remarkable document is not the gallant Admiral's 
own ; indeed, some think they can recognise the style of 
a clever civil official who was attached to the Head- 
quarters of the Second Army Corps. But whether Admiral 
I to be responsible for the style, or only for the ideas so 
forcibly expressed, the letter was signed by him, and its 
contents are known to represent his views. There is a 
savour of heroic days in this appeal addressed, on the eve 
of a desperate struggle, by Japan's foremost naval com- 
mander, but recently the victor in the greatest sea-fight 
of our time, to his erstwhile friend and present adversary, 
the vanquished in that battle Admiral TING Ju-chang, a 
sailor almost as able as himself, and equally brave. Had 
China possessed a dozen leaders of his stamp, men imbued 


with the courage and the high sense of duty displayed by 
Ting, by one or two of his officers, and by General Tso 
Pao-kwei,* the war would have been protracted, and her 
defeat inevitable in the face of Japan's superior organisa- 
tion would, at least, have been an honourable one. But 
the handful of capable, brave men on the Chinese side 
not all of them Celestials, as the doughty Major Con- 
stantine von Hanneken's name shows were powerless in 
the midst of the general corruption and dense ignorance 
of those above, around, and subordinate to them. They 
were bound, besides, with endless coils of yellow tape, 
still more constricting and paralysing than our own, red 
variety. At every turn they were hampered by the civil 
authorities in a manner only worse in degree than the 
conduct of the criminal idiots for whom victories were 
won, in spite of them, by Nelson, whose great heart they 
nearly broke, almost driving him out of the service. A 
narrative of Admiral Ting's constant struggle against official 
stupidity, malignity, and corruption on shore, would read 
like an account of Nelson's perpetual conflict with those 
British Mandarins who pared down his requisitions, ignored 
his proposals, and often thwarted his plans. That Admiral 
Ting achieved as much as he did little as it practically 
amounted to in opposing Japan's victorious forces for 

* General Tso Pao-kwei was killed in the great battle at Phyong-yang, 
or Ping-yang, in Korea, on i5th September, 1894. He commanded the 
Feng Brigade. Wounded early hi the fight, he tore up his clothes to 
bind up his wound, and continued directing his troops, nor did a second 
wound dismay him. A third bullet killed the brave general, whose death 
threw his brigade into confusion, and thus facilitated the capture by the 
Japanese of the "Peony Hill" (Mok-tan-San), a commanding position, and 
the scene of the defeat of the Japanese by the Chinese and Koreans in 
1592. The interval of three hundred and two years had not effaced from 
Japanese minds the humiliation of that defeat, suffered by their famous 
Christian General, KONISHI Yukinaga, many of whose warriors were also 
Christians, converts of the Portuguese missionaries. Every Japanese soldier 
storming the fortified "Peony Hill" felt that he was avenging the defeat 
of three centuries ago. Centuries appear mere years in the long annals 
of the Far East, reaching back into the mythical period; the Japanese 
take a keen interest in the past history of their nation, and they 
" remembered Peony Hill." 


nearly a fortnight before his inevitable surrender, is matter for 
wonder when the obstacles he had to face are considered. 
His whole career gave proof of the man's indomitable 
energy and ability. Acquiring his naval training late in 
life he was originally a cavalry officer he made himself 
so proficient that Captain Lang, R.N., the British Naval 
Adviser whom the jealousy and bad faith of arrogant 
Mandarins had driven to resign his position in disgust, 
stated, at the beginning of the war, his confidence in the 
Chinese Admiral's capacity was so profound that "he 
would be ready to follow him anywhere." But the atmo- 
sphere of corruption and arrogant imbecility in which 
Ting had to work would have overcome a greater man. 
Thwarted by the civil authorities, who are supreme in 
China, even in naval and military matters a situation 
not without analogies in the history of some Occidental 
countries feebly supported by some of his own captains, 
actually deserted by others, and without any intelligent 
co-operation from the land forces, he undertook the hope- 
less task of defending Wei-hai-wei, one of the "Gate- 
posts of Peking " the other one, Port Arthur, was already 
in the hands of the Japanese. From the outset, he 
encountered ill-will and ignorant obstinacy on the part 
of the military commanders holding the great fortifications 
that German scientific skill had created and armed, at 
Wei-hai-wei as at Port Arthur, at the cost of a huge 
expenditure of Chinese money. The General commanding 
the troops refused his offer to land Seamen-Gunners from 
the four thousand good sailors who still manned his fleet, 
the remnant that had escaped from the defeat off the 
Yalu, and some vessels that had not yet been engaged. 
Ting proposed that these well-trained gunners should serve 
the great guns mounted in .the shore-batteries and forts. 
Had his proposal been accepted, the Japanese troops 
would not have captured the works on the eastern side 
of the harbour without great loss, and, more important 
still, when the forts had ultimately to" be abandoned 


before the irresistible rush of the Japanese storming 
parties, the sailors would certainly have destroyed the 
guns, or rendered them useless. The Chinese military 
artillerists neglected this precaution in the hurry of their 
evacuation their chief thought, at that moment, was to 
put as much ground as possible between themselves and 
the Japanese, who placed the uninjured cannon and their 
ammunition in charge of the Naval Brigade attached to 
the attacking columns. The smart Seamen-Gunners soon 
turned the captured ordnance on the Chinese fleet, drove 
it into the western part of the harbour, and kept it there, 
nestling close to the protecting guns of the great fort on 
Liu-kung Island, throughout the siege. Admiral Ting 
prevented a repetition of this in the case of the Western 
Forts, when he saw they were doomed to be captured, 
and apprehended the peril his fleet, and the sheltering 
island-fortress, would be in were the guns on these 
works to be turned against him at the comparatively 
short range their position would ensure. Knowing how 
useless it was to place any reliance in the soldiers 
garrisoning the forts, he landed, on the ist of Feb- 
ruary, with a body of volunteers from his fleet and 
destroyed the guns, to the intense disappointment of 
the Japanese, who entered the forts on the next day, 
the "Braves" having fled to Chifu. I mention these 
incidents of the memorable siege because they indicate 
the absolute necessity for strong fortifications, heavily 
armed and properly manned, on the land-side of Britain's 
new naval base, if a fleet is to ride safely at anchor in 
the harbour. 

On the 25th of January, 1895, the captain of a British 
man-of-war delivered to Admiral Ting the letter in which 
his old friend, now his adversary, urged him to surrender. 
To this communication he made no reply until the i2th 
of February. Then, but not till then, the stout heart, 
weary and sore with disappointment and disgust, gave way 
to the pleading of the frenzied inhabitants of Liu-kung 


Island, and Ting his best ships, including his flagship, the 
great ironclad Ting-yuen, destroyed by the enemy's tor- 
pedos or shells, his torpedo flotilla captured whilst attempt- 
ing to escape, the forts all save Liu-kung in ruins, or 
in the hands of the Japanese, and his decimated men, 
running short of ammunition, worn out by a succession 
of terrible nights spent in efforts to repel the magnificently 
daring attacks of the Japanese torpedo-boats saw no alter- 
native to surrender. A telegram from Li Hung-chang had 
informed him, on the night of the nth, that no help 
could be offered him, so, on the morning of the I2th of 
February, he sent Captain Chang, of the Kuang-ping, in 
the Chen-pei flying a flag of truce, to Admiral Ito, with 
the following letter : 

11 1 received the letter of suggestions addressed to me, by the 

Officer in Command of " (here follow characters which 

may mean " Sasebo," the Japanese naval station in Kyu-shu, 
and would, in that case, be an error, or they may be an 
attempt to reproduce phonetically always a difficult task with 
Chinese ideograms the name of the British warship that brought 
Ito's letter, probably H.M.S. Severn) "but did not reply because 
our countries were at war. Now, however, having fought resolutely, 
having had my ships sunk and my men decimated, I am minded to 
give up the contest, and to ask for a cessation of hostilities, in order 
to save the lives of my people. I will surrender to Japan the ships 
of war now in Wei-hai-wei harbour, together with the Liu-kung 
Island forts and the armament, provided that my request be com- 
plied with, namely, that the lives of all persons connected with the 
navy and army, both Chinese and foreigners, be spared, and that 
they be allowed to return to their homes. If this be acceded 
to, the Commander-in-Chief of the British Squadron will become 
guarantor.* I submit this proposal, and shall be glad to have a 
speedy reply. 

(Signed) "TiNG Ju-chang, 

Ti-tuh (Vice- Admiral) of the Pei-yang (Northern Squadron). 
" Eighteenth Day of the First Month of the Twenty-second 

"Year of Kwang-hsu " (i2th February, 1895). f 
"To His Excellency Ito, 

" Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Squadron." 

* /.<?. The British Admiral would see that the terms of the Capitulation 
were strictly fulfilled. 

t- The Period of the Reign of the present Emperor of China, who 


To this letter the Japanese commander immediately 
replied, as follows : 

" I have received your letter and noted its contents. I am pre- 
pared to take over to-morrow the ships, forts, and all the other 
material of war in your possession. With regard to the hour and 
other particulars, I shall be glad to consult with you when I receive 
a definite reply to this communication. When the transfer of every- 
thing has been concluded, I shall detail one of our warships to 
escort all the persons indicated in your despatch to a place con- 
venient to both parties, but I desire to offer an expression of 
opinion on one point. As I had the honour to advise in my 
recent communication " (his letter, delivered on 25th January, 
urging a surrender), " I venture to think that, for the sake of your 
own security and in the future interests of your country, it would 
be best that you should come to Japan and remain there until 
this war is over. If you decide to adopt that course I offer you 
the strongest assurance that you shall be treated with every con- 
sideration and shall receive the fullest protection. But, if you prefer 
to return to your own country, your wishes shall be respected. With 
reference to the suggestion that the British Naval Commander-in- 
Chief should act as guarantor of this arrangement, I think such a 
precaution wholly unnecessary. I place implicit reliance on your 
assurances as an officer. I trust that I shall receive a reply to this 
letter by ten o'clock to-morrow morning. 

(Signed) "Ixo Sukehiro, 

"Commander-in-Chief of the Squadron; on board 
" H.I. J. M.S. Matsushima, 

" iath February, 1895. 
" To His Excellency TING Ju-chang, 

" Commander-in-Chief of the Pei-yang Squadron." 

succeeded to the throne in 1875, at xhe age of four. The name means : 
" Brilliant Succession." In the chronology of the Far Eastern nations, 
" Reign-Periods " answer the purpose of the Christian Era with us, or 
the Hejra of the Moslem world. In order to fix a date, it is, therefore, 
necessary to know when each Period commenced, no easy matter in Japan, 
where they did not always coincide with the actual Reigns, being some- 
times changed to celebrate an auspicious event. A simplification was 
introduced in Japan in 1872, when it was decreed that thenceforward each 
Reign should have but one Nen-go, or " Year-Period." The x-eseut Chinese 
Reign-Period, K-wang'hsii, began in 1875 ; the Japanese, which bears the 
title Mei-ji, "Enlightened Rule," commenced on ist January, 1868. The 
Gregorian Calendar was introduced, by decree, in Japan en Jst January, 
1873. To make chronological matters still more confused, in 1872 a new 
era was proposed in Japan, by which all years should be reckoned, viz., 
from 660 B.C., the supposed year of the accession of Jimmu Tenno, the 
first Emperor of Japan, according to tradition. Some Japanese adopt 


There are three noteworthy points about this letter, 
which breathes Ito's manly spirit in every line. Firstly, 
the Japanese admiral was under no obligation to consent 
to the condition, proposed by Ting, that the Chinese 
officers and men should be allowed to proceed to their 
homes, and their Occidental advisers and instructors suffered 
to depart scot-free. The granting of this concession was 
purely a wise act of mercy on Ito's part, as, further resist- 
ance being useless, the Chinese had no course open to 
them but to surrender, becoming, ipso facto, prisoners of 
war ; the Occidental mercenaries, not being subjects of the 
belligerent state, might be treated as pirates, and strung 
up to the yard-arm, or handed over to their respective 
Governments to be dealt with for breach of the Proclama- 
tions of Neutrality.* Secondly, it is interesting to note 
Admiral Itd's evident anxiety to induce his great adversary 
to come to Japan. This desire arose, not only from the 
natural wish to intern, at some place on Japanese soil, 
for the sake of prestige, the greatest and ablest of the 
country's foes all the Chinese officers taken prisoners so 
far having been mere nonentities but also from a sincere 
regard for his safety. The Japanese knew that the Chinese 
Government would surely behead their only truly great 
man if they got him into their power, as they had de- 
capitated Captain Fong, one of their best naval officers, 
for alleged cowardice, although he had bravely fought his 
ship, the Tsi-yuen, against greatly superior forces, off the 
Island of Phung, near the western coast of Korea, early 
on the 25th July, 1894. Fong had earned the admiration 
of his Japanese opponents, and of his German Chiet 
Engineer, Herr Hoffmann, and the praise of his chief, 

this method, by which A. D. 1898 (sist year of Mei-ji) becomes 2558 A.J., 
that is, the two thousand five hundred and fifty-eighth year since the 
foundation of the present Imperial Dynasty, the only one that has ever 
reigned in Japan. 

* When the French invaded Madagascar, in 1895, they made it widely 
known that they would shoot any Englishman, fighting on the Malagasy 
side, whom they might capture. 


Admiral Ting, who tried to save him, but in vain ; the 
literary Mandarins at Peking wanted a scapegoat, and this 
brave officer had to die. Probably he could not raise 
sufficient funds to bribe his judges into postponing the 
execution of the sentence for a year, as in the case ot 
the runaway generals from Port Arthur, nominally, to give 
the culprits time to reflect on the enormity of their 
offence ; really, it is said, to enable them to purchase the 
lives of wretched bankrupts, willing to sell their heads to 
save their families from ruin and starvation.* 

There was another, and a very potent, reason for the 
efforts repeatedly made to induce Admiral Ting to come 
to Japan. The Japanese hoped that the gallant old sea- 
dog, brought under their influence, would, on his return 
to China after the war, with his life guaranteed by a 
special clause in the Treaty of Peace, become, as he un- 
doubtedly would have, a powerful factor in the regenera- 
tion of his country. And, lastly, it is noteworthy that the 
Japanese commander assures his foe that his word "as 
an officer" is sufficient guarantee for him. This is a 
thoroughly Japanese idea, and Ting was, probably, the 
only Chinese leader of note who could understand it. To 
Li Hung-chang it would seem mere foolishness. With 
the letter, Admiral Ito sent his old friend some presents 
of wines and spirits and tinned delicacies, knowing that 
Ting's larder and cellar must need replenishing after the 
long bombardment. The liquors sent were champagne, 
claret, and whiskey whether the latter was Irish or 
Scotch, I know not ; I cannot, therefore, add to the fame 
of either country and it is a fact pointing to the dif- 
ficulties which surround historical research, even into 
recent events, that the brands of wines selected by Admiral 

* Cases of the execution of substitutes have occurred repeatedly in 
China, although they are by no means common. They give satisfaction 
all round. The condemned is, of course, satisfied ; so is the substitute, 
who preserves his family, sacred to every Chinese, from want ; so are the 
family, and so is the executioner, who is " squared " to overlook the fact 
that he has beheaded the wrong man. 


Ito have not been ascertained. For once, the great art 
of advertising has been baffled. 

On the next day, at 8.30, in the morning, Captain 
Chang returned to the Japanese flagship, this time in the 
gunboat Chen-chung, flying the Chinese ensign at half- 
mast, with another letter from Admiral Ting and the 
three cases of gifts. The letter, the last the great Chinese 
sailor ever wrote, was to this effect : 

" Your answer, just received, gives me much satisfaction on account 
of the lives of my men.* I have also to express gratitude for the 
things you have sent me, but as the state of war existing between 
our countries makes it difficult for me to receive them, I beg to 
return them herewith, though I thank you for the thought. Your 
letter states that the arms, forts, and ships should be handed over 
to-morrow, but that leaves us a very brief interval at our disposal. 
Some time is needed for the naval and military folk to exchange 
their uniforms for travelling garments,f and it would be difficult to 
conform with the date named by you. I, therefore, beg that you 
will extend the period and enter the harbour from the 22nd day of 
this month, according to the Chinese calendar (i6th of February), 
appointing a day for taking over the Liu-kung Island forts, the 
armament, and the ships now remaining. I pledge my good faith 
in the matter. 

(Signed) " TING Ju-chang, 

" i8th Day of the First Month (iath February, 1895)." 
" To His Excellency Ito, 

" Commander-in-Chief, etc. 
Returned with the above, three packages of articles."! 

How pathetic those words : " the ships now remain- 
ing" 1 One can imagine the sturdy old fighter's heart 
breaking as he signed away the remnant of his once 
mighty fleet. As soon as he had signed the letter to the 

* This care for his subordinates, so different from the callous desertion 
of their men in defeat usual with the Chinese generals, was a grand 
feature of Ting's character. 

t I have explained this quaint request in an earlier part of this 
Chapter, when dealing with the manner in which the Japanese carried 
out the liberation of the Chinese who surrendered at Wei-hai-wei. 

Ting was undoubtedly wise in returning ItS's gifts. Had he accepted 
them, the Chinese would have said that he sold Wei-hai-wei for a case 
of champagne, and by this time it would be a historical " fact." Men 
have been branded as traitors in Occidental countries on evidence almost 
as slender. 


Japanese Admiral, Ting sent a telegram to Li Hung-chang, 
retired to his cabin, and deliberately poisoned himself by 
swallowing a large dose of opium. His example was 
followed by the General commanding the troops, and by 
the chief naval and military Staff Officers. They well 
knew that their lives were forfeit if they returned to their 
homes, and that the probability was that, according to 
the terrible punishment for high treason in the Chinese 
Code, their whole families, from the hoary grandfather to 
the babe in arms, would be exterminated. 

The news of Ting's death by his own hand was 
brought to Ito by the Chinese officer who carried his late 
Admiral's last letter and returned the gifts. The Japanese 
Admiral was deeply moved. His grief was bitter, for he 
and Ting had been friends, and his admiration for the 
brave Chinese sailor's character and ability was profound. 
And now, note how the warriors of Japan gave expression 
to their respect for their gallant foe who was no more. 
The noble tale is best told in the simple language of the 
naval documents. The following is an extract from the 
tenns of the Capitulation of Wei-hai-wei : 

" ARTICLE X. In order to pay due respect to the memory of 
Admiral Ting, who died in the discharge of his duty to his country, 
Admiral Ito will decline to receive the Chinese warship Kwang-tsi, 
but will leave her at the free disposal of Tao-tai Niu Chang-ping " 
(the Chinese Civil Governor of Liu-kung Island), " who will carry 
away in her the remains of the Admiral and of the other officers 
who died with him; these steps to be taken between noon on the 
1 6th and noon on the 23rd of February. The ship will be inspected 
by Japanese Naval Officers on the morning of the isth." 

(By Article V. of the Capitulation, it had been pro- 
vided that the Chinese officers, and the foreigners in 
Chinese pay, would be allowed to leave Wei-hai-wei, on 
parole, in the Kwang-tsi, thus forming, as it were, a body- 
guard to their valiant leader's remains. By Article VI., 
they were to be permitted to carry away their personal 
effects, but not their arms.) 

The next episode of the narrative is supplied by a signal: 


General Signal made by the Japanese Flagship Matsitshinta at 
10.40, a.m., on i3th February, 1895. 

" Vice-Admiral Ting, the enemy's Commander-in-Chief, com- 
mitted suicide yesterday, after surrendering his ships, the forts on 
Liu-kung Island, and the armaments, garrison and crews. Great 
honour and respect must be shown to the spirit of our late gallant 
foe, who manfully did his duty to his country. His remains will be 
conveyed to a Chinese port in the prize Kwang-tsi, that the Com- 
mander-in-Chief will return to the Chinese for the purpose. Ships' 
bands are to play only^ funeral marches, or dirges, until the 
Kwang-tsi shall have passed out of the lines. Vice-Admiral's 
honours are to be paid to the remains by all ships as the Kwang-tsi 
passes them. This order is to be communicated to all ships' com- 
panies. Torpedo-boats will keep a bright look-out round the fleet 
to-night. Watchfulness must not be relaxed." 

The last two sentences are characteristic. The Japanese 
knew by bitter experience that a Chinese officer's under- 
taking was not necessarily to be trusted, and now the one 
Chinese leader whose word was his bond was dead. The 
Kwang-tsi did not report for inspection, as arranged, until 
early on i6th February, having been prevented from leaving 
her moorings by very rough weather. The inspecting 
officers found in her three torpedos, four guns of small 
calibre, and thirty rifles. The torpedos and rifles were taken 
out of her, but the guns and blank charges were left, so 
that she might fire a salute when her Admiral's body was 
brought on board. Her officers and crew were allowed 
to remain in charge of the ship. Before she left on her 
mournful voyage, the officers of the Japanese fleet, and 
many from the troops on shore, visited her to pay their 
last tribute of respect to the fallen foe. Slowly they passed 
before the coffin, each one solemnly and reverently salut- 
ing the remains of the enemy who had fought so stoutly 
for his country. The Chinese officers and civil authorities 
and the foreigners who witnessed the impressive scene were 
deeply moved. As one of the foreign officers in Chinese 
pay expressed it : " You would have thought the Japanese 
were mourning for their own Admiral." The Chinese 
gun-vessel, having taken on board the coffins of the other 


officers who had died by their owri hand, as a grim staff 
to sail with the Admiral on his last voyage, embarked the 
Chinese officers and foreign instructors liberated on parole, 
and steamed for Chi-fu. As she passed through the long 
lines of the Japanese squadron, flying at half-mast the 
Dragon Flag that Ting had served so faithfully to the 
end, every Japanese ship dipped her victorious ensign, 
minute-guns were fired, and the "Admiral's Salute" rang 
out from Japanese bugles in honour of the gallant enemy 
who would fight no more. 

And these things that I have truly related were done 
by the men of whom we have been solemnly told that 
they are " after all, a nation of heathens, barbarians at 
heart, with whom civilised Christian Britain cannot, must 
not, enter into an alliance" ! 

" Is Chivalry dead ? " The question was discussed 
not many years ago in many columns of a great London 
daily of course in the " Silly Season," when the public 
freely rushes into amateur and unpaid journalism. The 
"Constant Reader," the "Voice from Clapham," "Pater- 
familias," "An Englishwoman," "Fairplay," the "Mother 
of Six," and our old friend " Audi alter am partem," were 
all on the warpath, but the discussion was inconclusive. 
If admiration for the thing implies its existence in our 
midst, then I can vouch for it that chivalry yet lives 
amongst us. I have told the true tale of Admiral Ting's 
death, and of Japanese chivalry, on scores of platforms, 
to many thousands of men and women, and boys and 
girls, high and lowly, throughout the British Isles, from 
Aberdeen to Cork, from Liverpool to Dover, and . every 
time, after I had narrated the touching story, there was 
a moment of deep silence, and then such a rousing 
British cheer as gladdens one's soul, for it shows that the 
great, warm heart of the People is in the right place 
after all.* 

* At Newcastle- on-Tyne, after I had told the story at a crowded meet- 
ing of the Tyneside Geographical Society, in March, 1896, a sturdy 


The success of the Japanese in their struggle against 
China was so complete, that it will afford a truer test of their 
national character if we consider their behaviour in a region 
where their progress has been less triumphal, and the 
obstacles in their way so great that they have had to strain 
every nerve to overcome them. In their splendid new 
possession, the beautiful and fertile island of Formosa, 
ceded to them, along with the Pescadores, or Ho-Ko 
Islands, by China as one of the conditions of the Treaty 
of Peace of Shimonoseki, in 1895 the Japanese have had 
to contend against both man and nature. Not only were the 
Chinese whom they had to defeat members of the redoubt- 
able "Black Flag" bands, half soldiers, half banditti, who 
inflicted such heavy losses on the French in Tong-king 
men of a far different stamp from the " Braves " they had 
routed on the mainland but they had to chastise into 
obedience, and later to conciliate, the numerous Chinese 
population, men of Southern Chinese stock, excitable and 
pugnacious, and the still larger number of the Pi-po-hoan, 
those aborigines who had adopted the civilisation of their 
Chinese conquerors. As to the wild aborigines in the 
mountains of the interior, the Japanese, as a rule, are on very 
good terms with them, as anybody who has killed one of the 
hated Chinese is looked upon by the Formosan savage as 
a man and a brother. Moreover, the fairness and humanity 
with which the Japanese treated these hill-men, after 
chastising where punishment was due, in the expedition 
of 1874, undertaken to avenge the murder of shipwrecked 
mariners, produced a lasting impression. Nevertheless, the 
neighbourhood of their haunts is not a desirable location, as 
they are inveterate head-hunters, with a taste for human 

Novocastrian, with a "burr" like a drum, went up to a Japanese who 
had been amongst the audience, scrunched his delicate hand in the 
brawny Northumbrian fist, and said : " Ah ! but you are men, you are. 
God bless you!" But the cheers of the Etonians, and of the boys at our 
other great public schools, they were worth hearing ! Admiral Ito's ears 
must have tingled far away on Far Eastern seas 


brains dissolved in rice-spirit,* and are, occasionally, not very 
particular as to the nationality of the person from whose 
body they obtain a head to add to their collection. The 
hard struggle the Japanese have had before establishing some 
degree of order in Formosa was carried on in a tropical 
climate, its enervating, steamy heat more dangerous to the 
most hardened soldiers than the intense cold averaging 
25 Fahrenheit, on one occasion the thermometer marked 
30 below freezing-point ! they had borne so well in 
Manchuria, and the icy winds of Wei-hai-wei, where the 
crackling of the crust of ice on the waters of the Bay used 
to betray the movements of the torpedo-boats in their 
daring night attacks. Much of the country through which 
the Army of Occupation in Formosa had to march, often 
fighting every yard of the way with active, unseen foes, 
is about as difficult for military movements as Madagascar ; 
high, steep, unexplored mountains, clothed with almost 
impenetrable jungle, that also fills the deep, narrow gorges 
and the precipitous ravines. 

In such circumstances, the establishment of Japanese 
civil administration in Formosa was attended by so many 
obstacles, some of them due to inexperience in the difficult 
art of governing alien subject populations, that Japan's 
friends began to doubt if order would ever be evolved from 
such chaos. Governors followed one another with bewilder- 
ing rapidity, and the policy adopted towards the inhabitants 
changed with each Governor, now erring by excessive 
leniency, construed by the Chinese, as usual, into weak- 
ness, anon by extreme harshness, goading the people into 
fury. "Carpet-baggers" from Japan swooped down on 
the fair island, eager for lucrative official posts, and terrible 
tales of shocking tyranny, cruelty, and extortion were 
industriously circulated by the enemies of Japan, some 

* This gruesome beverage is drunk for the purpose of acquiring the strength 
and valour of the deceased. With the same object, Southern Chinese will 
buy from the executioner small pieces of the fried liver of a notoriously 
brave criminal, and eat them. Whether the Formosan hill-men be cannibals 
in the ordinary sense of the term is still a moot point. 


Europeans in Formosa spreading blood-curdling reports on 
the merest hearsay evidence. Towards the middle of 1896, 
the Japanese Government, alarmed at the state of the 
Island, seriously devoted its attention, now free from other, 
and weightier, preoccupations, to the matter. With what 
success its efforts towards reorganisation have been attended, 
what the Japanese can do, when they devote themselves to 
the task in earnest, with a possession apparently so intract- 
able, we may learn from some " Notes of the Work during 
1897 f the Formosa Mission of the Presbyterian Church 
of England," contributed to The Chinese Recorder by my 
valued friend, the Reverend W. Campbell, F.R.G.S., M.J.S., 
of Tai-nan-fu, on the south-western coast of Formosa, a 
pioneer of the Gospel amongst the islanders of various 
races, as broad-minded as he is devoted. I fancy I can 
see his honest Scottish face tanned by many years of 
exposure to the Formosan sun, during long wanderings 
over the coast plains, or in the mountains amongst the 
Head-hunters, with whom he is on terms of intimacy 
lighting up with joy as he penned sentences like the 
following : 

" As already remarked, our Local, or Congregational, Schools form 
another department of work in which decided advance has been 
made during the past year. The Japanese themselves have also 
been giving much attention to education in Formosa, having estab- 
lished up till date no fewer than seventeen high-class schools 
throughout the Island, at which Chinese youths are being taught the 
Japanese language and other subjects. It may be that the stir 
thus caused for the pupils attending those seventeen schools receive 
a monthly salary from Government funds has had an influence on 
our native brethren, but the fact remains that we have very seldom 
witnessed a better sustained effort made by them to give their 
children a good education." 

These " native brethren " are mostly people in humble 
life, and would, I dare say, be stigmatised as " pore bloomin' 
savages " by the " civilised " parents of corresponding social 
status in our midst, who look upon the School Board as 
an invention of the Evil One, and its Inspector the " Kid- 


Copper " they call him, with lurid adjectives as their deadly 
foe. Mr. Campbell further states : 

" Under this head it may not be out of place to state that, on 
request being made to the proper " (Japanese) " officials, three pupils 
of our Blind School were admitted to the Government Institution " 
(for the blind) " at Tokio ; and that, in order to secure funds for 
their four or five years' residence, a charity concert was held there " 
(at Tokio) " which turned out to be a great success ; what gave it 
widespread favourable notice being an order from the Imperial 
Palace to send one hundred first-class admission tickets. The three 
boys who are also members of the Church in Tai-nan-fu, entered 
on their duties at the beginning of the winter session, and there 
can be little doubt that four years' training at such a high- class, 
well-equipped institution will solve the question of their being able 
to earn a living for themselves. Many of the Japanese blind make 
good wages at massage, a method of treatment often prescribed 
by their own medical men ; but, were our three pupils to acquire 
nothing more than facility in speaking the language of their adopted 
country, immediate use could be made of their services in any of 
the public offices in Formosa." 

Government Institution for the Blind Charity Concert, 
under Imperial patronage, to provide scholarships for three 
boys, of Chinese race and a foreign faith great financial 
success, and, I presume, an artistic one, too, probably owing 
to Miss TANOSHII Yukiko's delicate rendering of an air for 
voice and samisen, or the masterly execution of an intermezzo 
by MEKURA Mojin, the celebrated blind koto player ! * 

* The blind in Japan are, as a rule, either musicians or shampooers 
Massage, or shampooing of the body for therapeutic purposes, which has but 
recently come into such high favour in the West, has been practised in Japan 
for centuries, playing as important a part in native medicine as acupuncture, 
or the moxa (this term, one of the few Japanese derivations in English, is a 
corruption of the Japanese mogusa, contracted from moye-kusa, "burning- 
herb," because of the mugwort, a species of Artemisia, burnt on the body as a 
cautery). By a very ancient and wise custom, the practice of the art of 
Massage and, to a great extent, the professional playing on the Koto, or Japanese 
harp (in appearance more like the dulcimer, the Czimbalom of the Hungarian 
Gypsies, and the Tyrolese Zither, it being laid flat on the floor to be played 
upon, as those instruments are laid upon a table,) are reserved tor the blind 
of both sexes, thus providing them with a livelihood. The blind Amma San, 
as the shampooer is called, is a familiar figure, as he taps his way through the 
streets with his staff, and his plaintive chaunt "Amma, kami-shimo go- 
hiyaku Man!" ("Massage, above and below, for five hundred Mon!" 


One hundred stalls taken by the Imperial Family and the 
Court. They do these things well in Japan ! 

The Rev. W. Campbell closes his "Notes" with the 
following words, well worthy of attention, as he is known as 
an authority on all things Formosan, and an impartial judge 
of the conduct of the island's new masters. His summing- 
up shows him to be absolutely free from prejudice, able 
to discern high motives in a race who do not follow his 

" In conclusion, a few words may be added on changes which 
have taken place since Formosa came under control of the Japanese. 
Those beneficial changes have been neither few in number nor easy 
of accomplishment, considering the obstacles which had to be over- 
come on taking possession of the Island. There was a large popu- 
lation oi strange speech, who increased the difficulty of the position 
by setting up a mushroom Republic, and inciting each other to 
withstand the victorious march of those who were then within 
striking distance of Peking. The plain truth upon this subject is 
that any brief perusal of Consular Reports and the Peking Gazette 
since 1864 places it beyond doubt that, owing to a turbulent spirit 
and the prevalence of bad opium-smoking habits now being 
vigorously curbed by the" (Japanese) "authorities Formosa has all 
along been a difficult Island to govern." 

I venture to interrupt my quotation of Mr. Campbell's 
remarks in order to explain that the " Mushroom Republic,' 
set up by the " Black Flag " Leader, Liu Yung-fu, lasted 
just ten days, its second, and last, President, the aforesaid 
Liu, ultimately escaping to China disguised as a woman, with 
a baby in his arms. It is almost certain that the idea of 
establishing a Formosan " Republic " was the suggestion of 
some Occidental, for neither Liu nor his predecessor, Tang, 

500 Mon=5 Sen, or Cents, i.e. 2% pence,) and the peculiar notes of his 
whistle, are typical sounds in every Japanese town. In spite of his moderate 
charges for his very soothing ministrations, the A mma San does fairly well, so 
well, sometimes, that he accumulates capital, which he lends for a consider- 
ation. The blind Koto players are well paid. The instrument has a very 
pleasing, harp-like sound. It requires years of study to master it thoroughly, 
and the blind players teach the amateurs, who are chiefly ladies. The Samisen 
mentioned in the paragraph to which this Note refers, is a three-stringed 
banjo, played by women, with a plectrum, called bachi. It was introduced 
into Japan, probably from Manila, early in the eighteenth century. 


the last Governor appointed from Peking upon whom Liu 
had thrust, at the sword's point, the evanescent honour 
of being the first President had any clear conception of 
what the word implied. Tang's honours were so uneasily 
borne, that Liu had him continually watched, yet he 
managed to escape on board a steamship in the harbour 
of Tamsui, at two o'clock in the morning of the fifth oi 
June, 1895, having induced his vigilant body-guard to look 
the other way, the inducement coming from the Presidential 
purse to the extent of fifteen thousand dollars. He had, 
probably, " squeezed " many in his time ; his turn had come 
to undergo the process.* Mr. Campbell speaks of the 
opposition encountered in Formosa by the Japanese " who 
were then within striking distance, of Peking." The compar- 
ative ease with which the victorious Japanese army could 
have reached and captured the Sacred Capital of China, after 
its "Gate-posts," Port Arthur and Wei-hai-wei, had fallen 
into their hands, has not been sufficiently recognised by 
Occidentals. Powerful indeed must the reasons have been, 
that induced the Japanese to forbear crowning their suc- 
cession of victories, by land and sea, with the most ardently- 
desired and logical consummation the triumphal entry into 
the Imperial City. Various causes have been alleged for the 
sudden termination of the war at the very time when every 
serious obstacle had, apparently, been cleared from Japan's 
path, but the true motive remains a mystery. The Peking 
Gazette, mentioned by Mr. Campbell as containing numerous 
reports of Formosan lawlessness, is, of course, the Official 
Gazette of China, the oldest periodical in the world.f 

* Far Eastern "Republics" are short-lived. The one established, with 
unofficial French encouragement, in Yezo, the great Northern Island of 
Japan, on ayth January, 1869, came to an end in July of the same year. 
Its originator was Admiral Yenomoto (or Enomoto), mentioned in Admiral 
Ito's letter advising Ting to surrender. 

f The Peking Gazette may be described as the Official Gazette of China, 
as the documents it publishes (daily Court News, Imperial Decrees, 
Rescripts, and Memorials to the Throne), are all authentic, and are 
supplied to the Editor by the Imperial Government, but the publication 
is a private enterprise. 


The strict suppression of opium-smoking enforced by 
Formosa's new rulers, who have a horror of the insidious 
drug a measure Mr. Campbell considers a powerful factor 
in the pacification of the island induces bitter comparison, 
when it is remembered that Britain forced her opium upon 
protesting China at the cost of fierce war. This is how 
Mr. Campbell sums up the results of Japanese activity in 
Formosa in the face of the difficulties he has described : 

" As one, therefore, who wishes to see it " (the Island) " prospering 
in every good sense of the word, and in view of what the Japanese 
have done for its welfare within the past eighteen months, I cannot 
here withhold an expression of gratitude for their arrival. The 
officials with whom we are privileged to come in contact are 
courteous and always ready to make every reasonable concession ; 
while it is simply marvellous what they have been able to accomplish 
in the way of surveying, census-taking and road-making ; in setting 
up civil, police and military establishments; in opening postal and 
telegraph offices, and in the appointment of a regular service of 
steamers round the Island and to the Pescadores. Their efforts in 
the matter of education I have already referred to." 

Mark the good Missionary's final words ; they condense 
into a few lines the secret of the success of New Japan : 

" Probably no Eastern nation has come in for a larger share of 
European flattery, lecturing, and mean, ungenerous criticism than 
the Japanese ; but they manage to quietly hold on their way, well 
knowing that they have a lofty purpose in view. May God enable 
them abundantly to realise it! Long live the Emperor!" 

In the preceding pages of this Chapter, I have endeavoured 
to show how those who guide the destinies of New Japan 
strove to attain their " lofty purpose " during the struggle 
with their huge adversary ; I have cited some examples of 
the tools they have at hand for its accomplishment the 
valour, the devotion, the chivalry of the people. It may be 
objected that these qualities would, naturally, come very 
much to the fore at a period of intense patriotic enthusiasm, 
and that a time of stress and storm is not a fitting 
opportunity for the study of a nation's conduct in ordinary 
circumstances. I cannot fall in entirely with this view, 
for history teaches us that it is in times of national 


emergency the worst as well as the best points of a 
people's character are most plainly manifested. Yet, it is 
right that an answer should be given to the question : 
" How does this warlike nation behave in piping times ol 
peace?" The unhesitating reply must be; "Admirably 
well ! " The men who " rushed " the forts with irresistible 
fury, who manned torpedo-boats in night attacks within 
the enemy's harbour work so daring that it would 
have warmed the cockles of Nelson's heart and set the 
blood tingling in Cochrane's veins these very men are, 
at home, units in the most peaceful, the most cheerful, 
the most law-abiding, the kindliest population in the 
world. Patiently and industriously toiling for a pittance 
that suffices to provide them not only with the necessaries 
of life, but with enjoyments unknown to the nations of 
rougher fibre pleasures simple in themselves, but aesthe- 
tically complete the great mass of the Japanese nation 
go through life with a smile on their lips, a courteous 
word on their tongues, and in their hearts that kindness 
towards their fellow-creatures, that tender love for children, 
and that absence of selfishness that amply compensate for 
their "impersonality of mind/' their "inability to grasp 
abstract ideas," and similar sad shortcomings of which they 
have been convicted by learned investigators. 

Why, then, if the Japanese possess such admirable 
qualities, should their character have often been so merci- 
lessly criticised by people whose reputation, learning, and 
opportunity for close study entitle their opinions to our 
respect ? Chiefly because the critics were, perhaps uncon- 
sciously, irritated by the fulsome stream of undiscriminating 
praise poured out on the Japanese by indiscreet friends 
some true, others false whose lavish flattery has done 
more harm to the nation than their bitterest foes have 
ever inflicted. A reaction was bound to set in against 
the exaggerated praise uttered by those who choose, either 
from excessive enthusiasm, or from motives of personal 
interest, to give a one-sided view of Japanese life, 


ignoring anything that might cast a shadow over the glow- 
ing picture. If you want to become aware of a man's 
defects, even the smallest, you have only to let people 
know that he is, in your opinion, very near perfection. 
It is the same with nations ; we were never told of the 
heinous sins, the general moral turpitude and intellectual 
limitations of the Japanese until a score, or more, ot 
writers had depicted them as almost angelic beings. No, 
the Japanese are not angels ; they are just human beings, 
with the in-born passions and instincts, and the restraints, 
some inherited, some acquired, that go to make up 
that strange compound of apparent contradictions common 
to human nature the world over. Consequently, although 
" impersonality," that is, a very general conformity to certain 
national characteristics, may be a distinctive feature of the 
Far Eastern mind, it is unsafe to generalise about the 
Japanese, for of no race of human beings not even of 
the Chinese, whose habit of thought crystallised centuries ago 
can a picture be drawn that will be a faithful present- 
ment of every individual. Exceptions may be rare amongst 
the people of Eastern Asia, gregarious by instinct, and 
enthralled, to our individualistic minds, by rules of conduct 
and modes of thought, adopted ages ago, and not easily cast 
off, that give an identical direction to the ideas of millions, 
but the exceptions must be taken into account if we would 
judge clearly. Taking note of the exceptions, it is absolutely 
safe to pronounce the Japanese of to-day a good nation. 

But as I have said, they are not angels, far from it. 
There are Japanese murderers, Japanese thieves of various 
kinds burglars who force bolts and bars, and enter, in spite 
of the heavy wooden shutters, the amado, in the night-time, 
house-breakers (to break into a Japanese house in the 
day-time a fist has only to be put through a paper screen, the 
shoji*} pickpockets (or rather "cut-sleeves," for the sleeve is 

* A Japanese house consists, practically, of four wooden corner-posts, stand- 
ing in stone sockets resting on the ground, and supporting a heavy roof tiled, 
thatched, or shingled. The floor is a platform, covered with thick mats ; the 


the Japanese pocket,) forgers, swindlers, the new civilisa- 
tion has opened up channels previously undreamt of for their 
unholy enterprise and political bravos, the Soshi, a curse of 
New Japan. There are Japanese impostors sometimes 
of the religious variety, collectors for bogus missions 
quacks, begging-letter writers, and fraudulent company 
promoters in fact, almost every kind of evil-doer known 
in the West is to be found in New Japan. (The wicked 
plumber has not yet made his appearance.) But the 
number of these criminals is far from alarming. Taken as a 
whole, the people are wonderfully law-abiding, honest, docile, 
respectful to those in authority over them and to the aged, 
loving to their children, dutiful and affectionate in their 
conjugal relations, according to their ideas of the relative 
position of the sexes, devoted and subject to their parents 
to a degree hardly to be imagined by Occidentals, kind 
and helpful to all. Their good humour is proverbial, their 
intelligence universally recognised ; their artistic feeling has 
no parallel amongst modern nations in its absolute 
spontaneity, its true taste, and its general diffusion amongst 
the masses. Their patriotism, their loyalty, and their 
heroic valour are patent to the whole world by their 
manifestations in the war with China. Yet, I must repeat 
the warning, they are but men and women, with the foibles 
and frailties we are all heirs to ; we must not let our 
discovery of the fact bias our judgment, however disap- 
pointing it may be to find that there is no perfect 

Unfortunately for the reputation of the Japanese, it 
is to the most serious, the most critical amongst those 
who have studied their character, that its defects have 
been most frequently revealed. It is the Occidental who 
has had occasion to deal with the Japanese in the serious 
business of life who is, as a rule, their least clement 

space between the corner-posts may be left open in summer, or it may be 
wholly, or partly, shut in by the shoji (sliding screens of semi-transparent 
paper) ; at night it is closed by heavy wooden sliding-panels, the amado. 


critic, for reasons I shall endeavour to explain later. The 
traveller, on pleasure bent, the artist revelling in the charm 
of the scenery and in the glories of the art of Japan, 
the people of leisure, seeking a Lotos Land, all these 
return from Japan fired with enthusiasm for the lovely 
country, and all aglow with sympathy for the good, 
courteous} merry people who have made their sojourn 
amongst them a time ot delight. Who has travelled far 
from the " Treaty Ports " which are in their morals much 
like ports all over the world into the real Japan without 
bringing away golden memories, to last a life-time, of 
innumerable little acts of kindness and consideration 
experienced at the hands of the people, mostly from those 
of the poorer class that, in Anglo-Saxon countries, look upon 
a stranger with dislike, and upon courtesy as a loss ol 
dignified independence ? The helpful people who so busily 
assisted to mend his broken-down jin-riki-sha ; the total 
strangers who performed those many little acts of cere- 
monious courtesy, evidently sincere and entirely disin- 
terested ; the good landlady of the little inn at the village 
in the mountains, who was so genuinely distressed when he 
came in, wet to the skin, from a long walk in the rain it 
can rain in Japan and it does, about every other day, except 
in the dry autumn and nursed him, as if he were her own 
son, when he had that dreadful cold in consequence ; the 
sturdy Kuruma-ya who dragged him in his baby-carriage, 
at a swinging trot, for miles, in all weathers, at a charge 
of about threepence a mile, and who doubled himself up 
in lowest obeisance on receipt of a gratuity a British cab- 
man would hardly acknowledge with a "thank-you" all 
these linger in the traveller's recollection, mellowed by 
the golden haze of the past tense, as dear, familiar friends. 
As he surveys the cherished odds and ends that bring 
back every scene of his delightful journey so vividly to his 
mind his bill for the hatago (supper, bed and breakfast ; 
lights, fire, bath and attendance included) at the yadoya, the 
inn, clean as a new pin, at the end of the village, situated 


just where the most beautiful view of the valley, the lake, or 
the bay is to be obtained a bill half a yard long, amount- 
ing to less than three shillings ; the annai-jo, or letter of 
recommendation, on decorated paper, with which mine host 
passed him on to the next inn-keeper on the road, the little 
paper wrappers in which the ko-ydji, the slender wooden 
tooth-picks, were handed to him ; the fan with a view of the 
hostelry, and the little blue cotton towel, with a flight 
of white birds across it, that were presented to him, with 
all the solemnity of an investiture at court, when he 
departed, after bestowing largesse (the customary chadai, 
nominally for the tea consumed, which never figures in the 
bill, being & discretion,) to the tune of eighteen-pence, or 
even two shillings, if he remembered that every foreigner is 
supposed to be a millionaire on his travels ; all these letter, 
wrappers, fan and towel each one a dainty little work 
of art applied to the humblest purposes, transport him back 
to the fair land. 

How well he remembers, too, the departure from 
the yadoya, the landlord and landlady wishing him a 
pleasant journey with parental solicitude, the row of plump 
little waitresses, in their charming costume, bowing, all 
together, and smiling, as only Japanese girls can smile, and 
twittering : " Mata irashai ! " (" Please come again ! ") and 
the young schoolmaster, who had been fetched in, the 
night before, " because he could speak English " local belief 
being scarcely borne out by his perspiring, gallant struggles 
(resulting in : "I am very grad wercome honourabre foreign 
guest. You from Rondon come ? Misteru Herbert Spencer 
book I dirigently study. It is very important 1 ") and 
the dignified policeman, saluting stiffly, the same who lent 
the table and chair, typical of advanced administrative re- 
form, from the Police Station for the greater comfort of the 
I-jin San (" Mr. Foreigner,") unused to squat on his heels 
and to eat off a table the height of an ordinary footstool ; 
the children, too, those absolutely delightful little people, 
in raiment bright as humming-bird's plumage, bowing as 


ceremoniously as any of their elders ! The whole episode 
is lived over again, and memories dearer still haunt the 
traveller's mind. He cannot forget, nor does he wish to, 
the winsome ways of sweet O Kiku San, prettiest of Gei-sha 
(every traveller's particular Gei-sha is always the prettiest in 
all Japan), the little fairy with the roguish eyes and the 
baby hands, who dressed with such exquisite taste, and 
taught him, amidst peals of silvery laughter, to play 
kitsune-ken, and other games of forfeits ; the smile of 
Komurasaki San, the inn-keeper's charming daughter, is 
a tender reminiscence, and every day of his journey is 
marked in his memory with the face of some demure 
little damsel who waited on him at an inn kneeling 
near him, ready to pour out the safe, or to fill the 
rice-bowl, and teaching his great, clumsy, Occidental 
fingers to manipulate the slender " eating-sticks." And all 
these fascinating recollections blend together in the re- 
membrance of that melodious word perchance the last one 
he heard as he left the Enchanting Isles, maybe from 
the lips of a regretful musume wherewith the Japanese so 
well express " the sweet sorrow of parting" : " Sayonara ! " 
Small matter for wonder if memories such as these 
drive out of the traveller's mind all resentment against 
the "curio "-dealer, who sold him forged antiquities, 
the artful guide and interpreter, who took his "squeeze" 
from every purchase, the drunken wharf-labourer who 
reeled against him at Yokohama (sak having been the 
cause, his intoxication would, at all events, be evanescent), 
the ruffian of the same class, sober but truculent (con- 
taminated by intercourse with the scum of all nations), 
who was rude to him on the hatoba, the wharf, at Kobe. 
These petty annoyances are forgotten, as indeed they 
may well be, for they were almost unperceived in the 
whirl of surprises, each more delightful than the last, and 
the joy of feeling one's self surrounded by kind, courteous, 
gentle people, who have verily solved the great problem 
how to be happy though poor. 


Two other problems have been solved by the people 
of Japan ; they have discovered, ages ago, how to be 
deferential without loss of dignity, and how to frame 
the soft answer that turneth away wrath. In the art 
of living amongst their fellow-men, that savoir vivre which 
is the most difficult art of all, they are past-masters. In 
courtesy of speech and demeanour, the humblest Japanese 
could give points to many in the well-dressed, well- 
groomed mob that calls itself " Society " in Occidental 
countries. Note the demeanour of a Japanese crowd 
and the streets of the populous cities are usually crowded; 
at the time of a festival they swarm with people. Observe 
the low bows and polite apologies exchanged by people, 
of the poorest class, who have inadvertently come into 
collision, the readiness with which a way is made for the 
bearer of a burden and think of the husky " 'Oo are 
you a-shovin' of ? " so frequent in our holiday multitudes. 
Walk through the clean, soft, yielding Japanese crowd, 
perfectly sweet to the nostrils, with just a faint odour of 
fa-ko, the musky perfume wherewith the boxes are scented 
in which they keep their best clothes ; you will pass 
along, without the slightest difficulty, merely by the 
exercise of a little patience. Think of the state of your 
ribs and your toes were you to elbow your way ("to elbow 
your way" a Japanese would not understand the phrase!) 
through the crowd thronging the streets of London City 
to witness the poor pageant of the Lord Mayor's Show. 
Remember how one is hustled in a Berlin crowd, pushed 
unceremoniously off a New York side- walk, jostled in a 
Boulevard throng, the latter, however, somewhat restrained 
by the fear of une affaire d'honneur if apology be not 
quickly tendered. Strange code of "honour," that demands 
blood to wipe out an injury to a corn ! Amongst the 
thousands pouring through the main streets of a Japanese 
city on the day of a matsuri, a popular festival, you may, 
occasionally, see a man too festive from unwise potations 
of sakt you will never see an intoxicated woman ; nor 


will you hear any voice raised in anger above the level 
of the rippling, laughing chatter of the merry crowd. 
Wherever you may be amongst Japanese, you will never 
be shocked by the disgusting blasphemy and obscenity 
that assail the ears in almost every Occidental land, but 
especially, alas ! in English-speaking countries. The fact 
is, the Japanese cannot swear, even if he had a mind to ; 
his language will not allow itself to be thus defiled it 
contains absolutely no "swear-words." This limitation has 
its inconveniences ; when a Japanese takes to playing golf 
he is obliged to learn English. 

From what I have stated, it may be gathered that 
the Japanese are a nation delightful to live with under 
ordinary conditions of every-day intercourse between 
friends, acquaintances, or even strangers. The moment 
the Occidental's relations with them point to his having 
a material object in view, presumably for his own benefit, 
their character undergoes, in most instances, an unwelcome 
change. The man who lands in Japan with the intention 
of making a fortune, or of carving out a career at the 
expense of the natives, has bitter disappointments in store. 
The competition is daily growing keener and more em- 
bittered, not only amongst the resident Occidentals, 
especially between the old settlers and the new-comers, 
but between them and the Japanese, who, day by day, 
become capable of producing for themselves many articles 
they were formerly obliged to import, and of dispensing, 
in nearly all directions, with the help of Occidental 
brains. Keen competition does not tend to soften hearts, 
nor to promote the cultivation of courtly manners, and 
there are other influences at work to make the impatient 
Occidental merchant, who sees his rate of profit dwindling, 
the disappointed contract-seeker, and the Foreign Adviser 
nearing the end of his engagement, take a gloomy view 
of the character of the Japanese. The very people whose 
simple dignity and cheerful humour, whose unfailing 
kindness and exquisite courtesy, would fill him with 


admiration in any other circumstances, become simply 
exasperating when the eager Occidental lets it be under- 
stood and the quick-witted Japanese perceive his motive 
long before he thinks fit to reveal it that he is aiming 
at personal benefit of some sort. Nor is it necessary, 
to produce this disagreeable transformation, that the 
foreigner's motive be purely selfish. Even if the success 
of the business, of the scheme of reform, or of the new 
development of any kind, that he is proposing must inevit- 
ably bring increased prosperity to certain Japanese, or benefit 
the whole nation, the mere fact that a foreigner would 
participate immediately in the profits, or even only in 
the honour and the glory of the results, is sufficient to 
arouse the hostility, open or latent, of the majority 01 
Japanese. The best men in the country's service, the 
wisest of Japan's statesmen, the most enlightened of her 
writers and thinkers, the foremost amongst her financiers, 
her manufacturers and merchants, do not share this feeling 
of shortsighted exclusiveness. They deplore it, and are 
working manfully to eradicate it, but they have a hard task 
before them. The feeling is one that Britons and Americans, 
accustomed to extend a warm welcome to enterprise that 
will benefit them, no matter whence it comes, or of what 
nationality their partners in the undertaking may be, 
cannot understand. Their marvellous prosperity has ad- 
vanced, by "leaps and bounds," by means of that very 
broadness of view, the introduction of which into Japan 
is now the chief aim of her really great statesmen. 

The spirit of exclusiveness they are battling against, to 
which I shall refer more in detail in a future Chapter dealing 
with economic matters, is not confined, as one might expect, 
to the trading community. It obtains, unfortunately, to a 
regrettable extent amongst the less enlightened officials and 
politicians, who have a large following amongst the Shi-zoku 
and, consequently, amongst those still lower in the social 
scale. The display of this feeling, the utterance, in 
the Press, in Parliament, and on the platform, of the cry : 


"Japan for the Japanese, and for nobody else !" are sure 
means of gaining cheap popularity, of a kind not unknown 
nearer home. How many absolute nonentities have climbed 
into prominence in French politics to the accompaniment 
of frantic shouts of " I'etranger, voild I'ennemi ! " Thus also 
in Japan, I'etranger fares badly with his proposals, unless 
he have the rare good fortune to lay them before one of 
the realty enlightened leaders, and the latter happen to be 
in power, and strong enough to contend with the national 
prejudice, the popular fear of being " exploited," as was often 
the case in the early days of New Japan, by the foreigner. 

This fear is all the more notable, in that the Japanese 
have a very good idea of how to " exploit " others. They 
are the most expert " brain - pickers " in the world. 
Strangely enough, they are ever ready to accuse others of 
the practice. It is a common subject of complaint with 
them that in many "translations" from the Japanese, and 
in numerous, more or less scientific, books on Japan by 
Occidental authors, the services of the " Native Assistant," 
who has contributed so materially, in most cases essen- 
tially, to the work, are curtly acknowledged in a brief 
mention in the Preface. They seem oblivious of the fact 
that they adopt a precisely similar course in many excel- 
lent publications written by Japanese in foreign languages, 
but revised and "prepared for press" by "Foreign Assis- 
tants." Some Japanese are remarkable linguists although 
the Chinese are their superiors in this respect and some 
of Japan's statesmen and diplomatists write and speak 
European languages, especially English, German, and 
French, with perfect accuracy and fluency, but more than 
one able public address, delivered by a less gifted Japanese 
in a foreign tongue, has owed its absolutely correct periods, 
its elegant diction, at which the audience marvelled 
greatly, to the polishing process undertaken by an anony- 
mous foreign reviser. It is thus a fair game of " give 
and take," and there is not much harm in the practice 
after all. 


The feeling of exclusiveness in matters of material 
benefit, and even of purely sentimental kudos, shelters itself, 
of course, like so many other unworthy or unwise motives, 
under that ill-used word " Patriotism." The Japanese, who 
are happy in the possession of the real patriotism, in its 
purest and highest forms, should have no need to indulge 
in displays of spurious varieties. The true cause underlying 
the exclusive spirit I am describing is a deep-rooted mistrust 
of the foreigner and of his aims, a feeling of suspicion born 
of centuries of strictest seclusion from the outer world, conse- 
quent on a bitter experience, in the seventeenth century, of 
the intrigues of foreigners whose internecine strife wrecked 
the noble work of their immediate predecessors, the 
men who had raised the edifice of Christian Japan. From 
the expulsion of the Portuguese and Spanish to the advent, 
of Commodore Perry, the Dutch and Russians were, 
with the exception of a few British who laboured under the 
disadvantage of prejudice fostered by their commercial 
rivals, the only white men from whose behaviour the 
Japanese could form any estimate of the character of the 
peoples of the Christian world, and the examples were not 
calculated to excite their admiration or their respect. The 
few glimpses they had of the Muscovites were not 
encouraging, and seem to have strengthened their deter- 
mination to seal up their country more closely than ever. 
As to the Dutch, we may easily imagine what a proud, 
chivalrous, military nation like the Japanese, amongst whom 
trade of any kind was, until 1871, an occupation no 
gentleman could stoop to in fact, classed below agriculture 
and all crafts thought of the money-grubbing Hollanders, 
who submitted willingly to gross indignities for the privilege 
of trading at Nagasaki. 

And with the opening of Japan to the trade of the 
world came, in the 'fifties and the 'sixties, it should be re- 
membered, not only reputable merchants, diplomatists, naval 
and military men, physicians and missionaries, but, in their 
train, a motley crew of adventurers, flotsam and jetsam ol 


the Pacific Coast and the China Seas, rowdies from the gold- 
diggings of California and of Australia, " Beach-combers " 
from the South Sea Islands, naval deserters, unfrocked 
priests, an epitome of Occidental vices and follies let. loose 
to prey upon an unprepared nation just awakening from 
its torpor of two centuries. It makes one blush to think of 
the barefaced swindles that were perpetrated to the detri- 
ment of the Japanese in those days, of the brutality of the 
San Francisco " Hoodlums," and the Australian " Larrikins" 
towards Japanese women and defenceless "coolies," and 
the vulgar arrogance of British cads of the type that strolls 
about amongst the kneeling worshippers in a foreign cathe- 
dral, talking loudly the while, and goes to the opera in 
Paris in a bicycling suit. And the outrages and the 
arrogance brought bloody reprisals, not always on their 
perpetrators, for, in such cases, the innocent usually suffer 
for the guilty. In one notorious instance, at least, under- 
bred arrogance met with prompt and terrible punishment. 

When it is considered what an impression must have 
been made on the Japanese mind by the first foreigners 
with whom they were brought into close contact in 
modern times and, unfortunately, nations are prone to 
accept the worst specimen of a foreign race as typical of 
the whole on what a stock of traditional hatred and 
contempt the new hostility was grafted, and how fuel 
was added to the flame by the merciless indemnities 
exacted, with fire and sword, by the foreign Powers 
for the outrages committed on their subjects, who had 
often provoked them ; when we add to all this the 
manifest injustice displayed, for many years, by the 
same Powers in their dealings with Japan, and now 
the wound is still raw the iniquity of the Russo-Franco- 
German intervention in 1895, an( i the Russian grabbing of 
Port Arthur in 1898, it seems nothing short of marvellous 
that the Japanese are as friendly to foreigners as we 
find them. 

Time heals all, and in the course of a few years 


things proceed rapidly in New Japan the mistrust at 
present inspired by the Occidental will disappear, especially 
in the case of the peoples against whom Japan has no 
grudge, but rather a debt of gratitude. The people of 
Britain stand foremost amongst these ; Japan will never 
forget it was Britain that first consented to treat her on 
an equal footing. Until that happy time comes, the 
Occidental must apply himself, if he would succeed in 
Japan, to establishing a feeling of mutual confidence that 
will dispel the national habit of suspicion. For it is a 
national habit, and applies, although to a less degree, to 
the relations of the Japanese amongst themselves. This 
ingrained suspiciousness is, without doubt, the result of 
two centuries and a half of a Government which relied, 
as that of the Tokugawa Shogun undoubtedly did, for 
its efficiency on an elaborate system of spying. The 
Shogun at Yedo spied on his Councillors, the Councillors 
on the officials, the officials on the people, and the 
people on one another. The feudal Lords, the Daimiyo, 
themselves spied upon by the Shoguris Government 
(whose spies swarmed also about the Imperial Court at 
Kioto), spied upon their Kard, or Councillors, when the 
Lords were not, as was often the case, mere puppets in 
the hands of their Kard ; in every Clan the spying system 
was but a replica of that organised at Yedo, and the Clans, 
jealous, always intriguing, frequently hostile, spied upon 
one another. This system has left two legacies to New 
Japan, one good, the other bad : the most efficient detective 
police in the world, and the unfortunate habit of exaggerated 
mistrust. The curious thing about this suspiciousness is that 
the Japanese affect not to be aware of its existence. Ask 
a Japanese: "Why are your people so mistrustful, so 
suspicious ? " He will reply : " We are not suspicious at 
all." And, as he says it, his eyes are boring through you, 
to try and discover the hidden, and presumably interested, 
motive that prompted your query. 

With other charges that are most frequently brought 


against the character of the modern Japanese I propose 
to deal, as opportunity offers, in subsequent Chapters 
treating of subjects in connection with which the alleged 
vices, or defects, may most fittingly be considered. For 
instance, the allegation of commercial dishonesty will, 
naturally, be most conveniently investigated in the course 
of the Chapter on " The Almighty Dollar ; " that of lack of 
chastity will be examined in the Chapter on " The Women 
of the New Far East." Impartially looked into, some of 
the charges brought against the people of New Japan 
cannot be sustained, others admit of extenuation, almost 
all will have to be retracted within a generation. 

Taking them all in all, the people of New Japan have 
no great vices ; they have no glaring defects that cannot 
be removed, as they probably will be before many years 
elapse. For the nation, thoroughly in earnest, is eager 
to fit itself for the great part it is destined to play in the 
Far East and in the world at large. Truly, again to use 
the words of the good Missionary in Formosa : " They 
have a lofty purpose in view. May God enable them 
abundantly to realise it I " 



OLD that is the epithet which comes inevitably to the mind 
as the most distinctive one to apply to the huge Empire of 
China. Although the momentous events that mark the 
closing years of the nineteenth century have transformed 
Eastern Asia into the New Far East, China, paradoxical as 
it may seem, still remains Old China. Japan has been re- 
born within the last thirty years of the century ; Korea, 
an epitome, till late in the 'seventies, of the China of three 
hundred years ago, has been rudely shaken out of her 
long sleep, turned inside out and upside down, and 
tumbled into a confused heap, out of which something 
totally unlike her former self will be gradually and pain- 
fully evolved. China alone remains unchanged, unreformed, 
Old China to the backbone. 

" What ? " I fancy I can hear the Reader exclaim, 
"has China shown no signs of progress since her crushing 
defeat by the allied British and French, in 1860, humbled 
her pride ? Has she not, in many ways, indicated that 
the great lesson of her complete collapse before the arms 
of little Japan is beginning to bear fruit ? " The answer 
must be a negative one. To begin with, China's defeat 
by the two allied Powers would that their alliance 
could be re-established for the good of humanity ! was 
never looked upon by the Chinese as a "crushing" one. 
Those Chinese who, at any time, bestow a thought on 
the subject, as very few of them do, argue, with truly 


Oriental logic, that the allies cannot have been victorious, 
else they would have established their rule at Peking. It 
must have been, they say, fear of the punishment that 
would overtake them, for their criminal insolence, when 
the Son of Heaven had completed his preparations to 
that end, that caused the Foreign Devils to retire from 
the gates of the Imperial City. The same reasoning 
satisfies the average Chinese, living away from the coast, 
who know anything about the war with Japan by no 
means a majority of the nation that the presumptuous 
"Dwarfs" retired from the sacred soil of China just in 
time to avoid the annihilation that was inevitable once 
the Imperial Power had really begun to exert itself. 
Otherwise, they maintain, would the Japanese have 
refrained from marching into Peking ? Would they not 
be ruling there now ? They are not there ; consequently 
they must have been smitten with awe by the mere 
rumours of the tremendous preparations that were being 
made to chastise their impertinence, the thousands of new 
bows and arrows that were in process of manufacture, the 
assembling of hordes of "Braves" under the walls of 
the capital, and so forth. In short, the vast majority of 
China's teeming millions know nothing of the collapse, 
in two campaigns within thirty-five years, of the defensive 
forces of the Empire, and -the minority who witnessed it 
on either occasion attributed their country's defeat to any 
causes but the real ones, ascribing it to reasons involving 
no national humiliation whatever, no condemnation of the 
obsolete principles of government and the crass ignorance 
that brought their power into the dust. The most striking 
" object lessons " ever given to a great Empire were thus 
wasted on the bulk of the population of China. 

But, it may be objected, what of the tangible proofs of 
China's awakening of which so much has been heard ? 
What of the desire, evident for years past, to profit by 
the latest discoveries of Western science, at all events 
for purposes of national defence ? Surely, China had a 


fleet of ironclads ; she had regiments armed with modern 
weapons and drilled by Occidental Instructors ; she has 
some still. What of the telegraph lines extending through- 
out her immense territory ? What of the railways, some 
in operation, some being constructed, and a great many 
more projected ? Why, to judge by the newspaper 
reports, the whole vast Empire will soon be covered with 
a network of trunk lines and branch lines ! In every 
Club smoking-room the talk is all of the line from Some- 
thing-king to Somewhere-fu, and who is going to get the 
concession for it; and in the library the maps of China 
are becoming frayed at the edges, cut at the folds, and 
are scored all over by the toothpicks of experts, tracing 
the course of the iron roads so soon to exist. Are there 
not Colleges in China, where students are carefully trained 
in all the Western sciences ? Have not scores, perhaps 
hundreds, of intelligent young men been educated in 
America, and some in Europe, at the cost of the Chinese 
Government ? Think of the impetus that must have been 
given to the advancement of China by the journey of 
her greatest statesman. Surely the thoughts of Ll Hung- 
chang, brought face to face, on that memorable tour, with 
Occidental civilisation in its most striking manifestations, 
must be bearing fruit ? We know that he possesses the 
ability to profit by the knowledge thus acquired, for long 
before he left China he had conceived the idea of pro- 
viding his country with defensive forces of the most 
modern type, selecting, with rare strategical insight, the 
two points where the approaches to Peking from the sea 
could best be commanded, and causing German and French 
skill to convert them, at immense cost, into fortresses 
deemed practically impregnable till they fell before the 
fierce onslaught of the Japanese. 

Then, is it to be assumed, even for a moment, that 
long years of devoted missionary labours, embracing 
scholastic and medical efforts, have not leavened the 
masses of China with the germs of a new, and higher, 


civilisation ? Consider, too, the object lesson the Chinese 
have had before their eyes, for so many years, in the 
well-ordered Foreign Settlements at Shanghai, and in 
the thriving British Colony of Hongkong. See the un- 
mistakable evidences of the fitness of the Chinese for 
intelligent activity in every branch of commercial enter- 
prise to be found in the flourishing condition of the 
Chinese trading under the British flag in the Straits 
Settlements. Look at the type of high official that is 
sent abroad to represent the Empire at foreign Courts. 
"Only the other night," the Objector will tell me, "I 
heard His Excellency the Chinese Minister at the Court 
of St. James's, Sir Lo Feng-lu, make a speech at .a 
public dinner one of the best and wittiest after-dinner 
orations I have ever heard, and in excellent, idiomatic 
English. In the course of it His Excellency casually 
quoted Shakespeare, Milton, and Tennyson, and men- 
tioned, just by the way, that he had translated Blackstone 
into Chinese. I sat next to one of the Secretaries of the 
Imperial Legation ; such a pleasant companion, in lovely 
blue silk, who chatted away, in perfect English, on the 
folly of the Anti- Vaccination Movement, and on the 
Incidence of Local Taxation in the United Kingdom. 
If that is not a sign of New China, what is ? " 

Thus speaks the Objector, and I answer him once 
more, deliberately, that the enormous, inert Empire 
between Russia in Asia and British India is still the Old 
China of yore. 

I shall take the Objector's points seriatim. China had 
a fleet of powerful ironclad battleships, and cruisers and 
torpedo-boats I shall not enumerate their quaint names, 
for nearly all those that are not at the bottom of the sea, 
beyond hope of salvage, now bear Japanese names but 
to what do the masses in China attribute the loss of their 
fine ships ? To the " fact," amongst other equally cogent 
reasons, that their eyes having been poked out by their 
malevolent German and British constructors, the poor ships 


were unable to avoid the enemy's shells and torpedos ! 
The hawse-holes of the steel monsters could not possibly 
serve to guide them in the sea-fights. Now, if they 
had possessed a pair of well-painted eyes at the bows, 
like every decent junk, the result would surely have been 
victory for the Dragon Flag. Lest it should be thought 
that opinions of this kind are held only by the common 
herd, it ought to be known that the Mandarin charged 
with the inquiry into a railway accident near Tien-tsin, 
in 1898 China possessed at the time but three hundred 
and twenty miles of railways in operation, but they had 
already attained to the dignity of an accident expressed 
his belief that the disaster was caused by the absence of 
eyes, which ought to have been painted on the engine. 
As to China's "foreign-drilled" troops, I shall have 
occasion to refer to them in a subsequent Chapter deal- 
ing with naval and military matters, but suffice it to say 
now that most Chinese are agreed that the Occidental 
weapons and training adopted for a part and a smail 
part only of their motley army are totally unsuited to 
the idiosyncrasies of the Chinese warrior, hampering his 
agility and thwarting his native valour. They look upon 
the introduction of foreign drill and the attempt at foreign 
discipline in the armies of certain Viceroys not all the 
Viceroys have called in the aid of Occidental military 
science, and there is, practically, no organised Imperial 
army, in our sense of the word, for service throughout the 
Empire much as our wooden-headed old Admirals of 
former days looked upon the introduction of "tea-kettles," 
as they called steamships, into the Navy, as their successors 
regarded, and bitterly opposed, armoured vessels and, 
quite recently, breech-loading ordnance ; much as the 
peppery veterans in our Service Club windows and, it is 
to be feared, not a few younger than they and still in 
command condemn our " short service " system, our 
magazine rifles, our scientific officers, and every other 
innovation, tending, in their opinion, to " send the Service 


to the dogs, sir ! " The great fault the average Chinese 
finds with the "new-fangled" Occidental arms of pre- 
cision is their shortness. Your true Chinese likes a weapon 
with a good long handle a trident, or a crescent-pronged 
spear, for choice about ten feet long ; it keeps the enemy 
so much further off. 

During the war between China and Japan, I was con- 
versing one day with a highly-educated young Chinese 
official, of high rank for his age, who had a perfect com- 
mand of English. I was expressing the hope, in which 
I felt sure one so thoroughly imbued, as I thought, with 
Occidental ideas, would concur, that China would profit 
by the terrible lesson she was receiving. To my astonish- 
ment, he replied that he had apprehended some such 
disaster, for, he said : " Our people should not be expected 
to fight with European weapons, and according to methods 
foreign to their national spirit. I believe we would defeat 
the Japanese, were our men to oppose them with the 
arms we have always found suitable, and according to 
our ancient rules of warfare, that enabled us in the past 
to subdue so many nations of the East." Bows and 
arrows, matchlocks, "stink-pots," tridents, and shields with 
ugly faces painted on them - to terrify the enemy these 
used and bows and tridents were used against Melinite 
shells, smokeless powder, quick-firing ordnance, range- 
finders, the Murata rifle, the bayonet, revolvers, and 
machine-guns ! Poor China ! 

As a matter of fact, the modern destructive engines 
are not at all beyond the comprehension of carefully- 
trained Chinese. They can, when properly led, use them 
with deadly effect, as was proved by the stout defence ot 
Wei-hai-wei under the gallant Admiral Ting, and the 
heavy losses inflicted on the Japanese on several occasions 
during the attack; but the result showed that courage, 
endurance, and skill in the use of perfect arms, even 
under gallant and experienced leadership, cannot enable 
the Chinese to prevail, on land or sea, against the same 


conditions plus perfect organisation, military spirit, and 
scientific tactics. The fact is worth remembering by those 
who talk so glibly of a Chinese army, under British 
officers, holding in check and presumably defeating, if 
necessary, the legions of the Tsar. 

The telegraph and the telephone are now firmly 
established in China. She possesses thousands of 
miles of telegraph lines, transmitting messages in Chinese. 
Why these italics ? Because the invention of a system 
by which Chinese can be telegraphed is a masterpiece 
of ingenuity.* The difficulties seemed insuperable. How 
could the Morse alphabet of dots and dashes reproduce 
a language that has no alphabet at all, but possesses, 
instead, a beautifully elaborated system of characters, 
evolved from ancient hieroglyphics attributed, in their 
primitive form, by the Chinese to Fuh-hi, their great, 
and mythical, ruler of the early period of 2800 B.C., or 
thereabout, and by Occidental learners to a much more 
ancient celebrity with hoofs and horns characters that re- 
present ideas, not sounds ? It stands to reason that an 
ideographic system of writing must contain as many 
characters as there are ideas, or conceptions, concrete or 
abstract, that may have to be communicated in fact, 
words so that the unfortunate telegraphists were con- 
fronted by the evidently hopeless task of inventing com- 
binations of dots and dashes equivalent to the three 
thousand, or so, of characters a Chinese must be able to 
distinguish before he can be said to be able to read fairly 
well. There is, probably, no man living, nor ever was, 
with a knowledge of all the characters of the Chinese 
language, nearly forty-four thousand in number, although 

* Due to the clever brain of Professor Schellerup, Professor of Astro- 
nomy in the University of Copenhagen, the seat of the Great Northern 
Telegraph Company's headquarters, who devoted his leisure hours to the 
framing of his lucid scheme, which was perfected and tabulated for prac- 
tical use, in 1871, by an equally clever Frenchman, Monsieur S. A. Viguier, 
then Divisional Inspector at Shanghai in that admirable service, the 
Imperial Chinese Maritime Customs. 


some extremely learned Graduates may have enjoyed that 

A way out of the telegraphic difficulty suggests itself at 
once to the Occidental mind. Why not telegraph Chinese 
v.'ith the Morse signals corresponding to the Roman letters 
lorming the representation, according to some definite 
phonetic system, of the sound of the words ? This can- 
not be done, because, in the first place, the Chinese 
language being monosyllabic, every sound has numerous 
significations, to be distinguished only by the context, or, 
in some cases, by the particular intonation level, rising, 
falling, guttural, or acute given to the syllable ; and, 
secondly, because the vernacular varies so greatly in the 
different provinces that a man from the coast of Fu-kien 
is totally unable to converse with a fellow-countryman 
from Shan-si, and even with a native of a province nearer 
to his own, unless both happen to know the "Mandarin," 
or official, language, which implies high educational attain- 
ments ; even then their pronunciation would differ con- 
siderably. So entirely different are the provincial dialects 
some of them attain to the dignity of separate languages 
that I have heard a man from Canton and a native of 
Tien-tsin conversing in Pidjtn-Eiiglish, the only possible 
medium of communication between them, as, being men 
of the artisan class, they did not speak "Mandarin," and 
were acquainted with only a few of the most usual 
characters, quite insufficient for their purpose. Had 
they possessed a fair knowledge of writing, they could, 
of course, have communicated freely on paper, just as 
educated Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans can, as they 
all use the Chinese ideograms, although not always with 
exactly the same meaning, and placing the parts of speech 
in a different order in the sentence, according to the 
syntax of their entirely different languages. This entails a 
considerable amount of trouble, the Chinese, for instance, 
having to look for the verb at the end of a Japanese 
sentence, much as we have to wade through half a page 


of German before we find the geworden sein soil, the 
gehabt haben dilrfte, or other gruesome verbal combination, 
that tells us what it is all about. In spite of this dif- 
ficulty, the educated people of the three Far Eastern 
Empires can, and do, communicate with one another in 
writing, and read one another's books, provided they be 
printed in the Chinese character. During the war, the 
Japanese soldiers could always make the Chinese popula- 
tion understand their requirements by tracing the more 
commonly-known characters in the snow, or in sand, 
with the point of the bayonet. When that novel Japanese 
writing instrument traced the word "run" in the air, the 
Chinese "Braves" understood it, in most cases, without a 
moment's hesitation. 

It is impossible to over-estimate the enormous advantage 
over all Occidental nations that this possession of a common 
written language not to speak of a classical literature fami- 
liar to both gives the Japanese in all their dealings with 
their neighbours, the Chinese and Koreans. Devoutly as it 
might be desired that they should abandon their present, 
diabolically complicated, system of writing or, rather, 
systems, for they have three, with variations that causes 
the youth of Japan to spend, in its acquisition, long years 
which would suffice for learning three Occidental tongues, 
and replace it by the Roman character, used phonetically, 
as advocated by the Roma-ji-Kwai, or Roman Character 
Society, of Tokio, there appears no prospect of such a 
reform for many years to come. Japan is not likely to 
give up the powerful lever she possesses for working on 
the Chinese mind when the day will come for her to 
resume her task, interrupted, for the nonce, but nowise 
abandoned, of leading her tottering Celestial " Elder 
Brother " along the path of reform she herself has so fear- 
lessly followed. 

In the meantime, their common written language is 
of incalculable advantage to the people of Eastern Asia 
in their international mercantile transactions. A Chinese 


Graduate once said to me : " What is the use of this 
Volapiik there is so much talk about ? " (He had met 
with an enthusiastic European student of that short-lived 
"Universal Language.") "Why don't you Western people 
all learn to write Chinese ? If you all knew a certain sign, 
two strokes " (all that remains of an archaic hieroglyphic 
drawing of a man, just his striding legs,) "as the char- 
acter for 'man,' you might pronounce it 'man,' homme, 
Mann, uomo, hombre, homem, ember, miizh, barbatu, 
according to your nationality, it would convey the same 
idea to all the minds that had learnt it. Believe 
me," he concluded, " Chinese is the only true Universal 
Written Language." 

One example will suffice to show the appalling diffi- 
culties inherent to the problem of adapting the Morse 
code to the intoned monosyllables of Chinese, and insep- 
arable even from ordinary speech. Pao, as we would 
spell it the Chinese " write " it by painting with the 
writing-brush and what we call "Indian" ink because it 
is not made in India, rubbed, with water, on a smooth 
stone a little diagram, something like a gridiron attached 
to a bird-cage Pao means, pronounced with the level 
intonation, "treasure." A slight inflection of the voice, 
which we can only render, quite arbitrarily, by an accent, 
or an apostrophe, makes it sound Pao, written with quite 
another little picture, and signifying "faggot, bundle of 
sticks." Thus, when a Chinese happens to be suffering 
from a violent cold in his head, the wife of his bosom 
cannot make out if he is calling her his " treasure " or 
his "bundle of sticks." 

The problem of telegraphing in the Chinese language 
has, however, been solved by a code of numerals corre- 
sponding to nearly seven thousand carefully-selected 
ideograms in every-day use. For instance, the ideogram 
for "Cash" (Ch'ien), the word that most frequently 
occurs to the Chinese mind, is expressed, in the Code 
now in use, by the numerals 6030. In telegraphing, the 


operator merely sends the code signal along the wire. It is 
translated at the receiving office at the other end into the 
ideogram for " Cash." Of course, if the cardinal number 
6030 is to be conveyed, the signals used would be the 
three combinations of numerals fixed by the Code to 
represent the words "six," "thousand," and "thirty." 

It may be thought that proper names would not 
readily lend themselves to transmission by this system 
some of our English ones, Higginbotham or Satterthwaite, 
for instance, certainly would not but in China there are 
only one hundred surnames, said to have been originally 
bestowed on the people by the great Fuh-hi, nearly three 
thousand years B.C. It is characteristic of the thoroughly 
Chinese spirit of this ruler, real or mythical, that his 
avowed object in giving his subjects family names, or 
rather "Clan names," was to facilitate their registration 
for purposes of taxation. The Chinese to this day refer 
to themselves as " the Hundred Names," as we would say : 
"the People," "the Nation." And from this limited stock 
every foreigner who holds communication with Chinese 
must select a name by which they are to call him ; always 
of course, a monosyllable, as like as possible to the radical 
sound of his own surname. Thus Morrison becomes " Ma," 
Thompson is rendered " Tan," White becomes " Wei," 
Manson, " Man," Bale, " Pe." 

In Japan, the difficulty was much more easily overcome 
when the admirably-managed, cheap telegraph system that 
now extends all over the Island Empire was commenced 
in 1871. Amongst the bewildering variety of modes of 
writing possessed by the Japanese, the Kana is phonetic. 
Of the two kinds of Kana, the Kata-kana and Hiragana, 
the latter, consisting of a syllabary, w T as framed by the cele- 
brated Japanese Buddhist Saint Kobo Daishi (Abbot of Toji 
in Kioto in A.D. 810, and called Kukai during his lifetime). 
It is composed of forty-seven syllables, each expressed by 
a cursive form of a Chinese ideogram. Unfortunately, the 
Hiragana hardly ever used for whole books, except books 


for children, " Penny Novelettes " for women, and religious 
or moral tracts for the lower orders, seldom, nowadays, 
for letters, but always for the affixes denoting the cases 
of nouns and the moods and tenses of verbs has become, 
in the course of nearly eleven centuries, very complicated, 
owing to the numerous abbreviated forms in which its 
forty-seven signs may be written. 

The Saint would hardly recognise his own syllabary 
the Japanese ABC, which, being a Japanese, he drew up 
poetically, in a stanza beginning: " Iro ha"* if he saw 
it in some of its present forms. His soul would revolt 
at them, for he was the most marvellous penman, or, 
rather, "brush-man," that ever lived. He could write, 
it is said, with five brushes at once ; one in each hand, 
one grasped by the toes of each foot, and the fifth held 
in his mouth. But, universal genius though he was, he 
cannot be said to have been entirely original in his con- 
ception of the Hiragana Syllabary, for, nearly half a 
century before his time, the great scholar and statesman 
Shimomichi-no Mabi, (or Kibo-no Makabi,) commonly 
known as Kibi Dai-jin (died A.D. 776), invented, according 
to tradition, a much simpler system, the Kata-kana, or 
"Side-Characters," consisting of the forty-seven syllables 
expressed by very easily-written signs which are only 
sides, or parts, detached from Chinese ideograms. It is a 
beautifully simple system, there, being only one form of 
each of the forty-seven characters, with two kinds of 
modifying marks for some ; unfortunately, the Japanese, 
although they all know it, use it only for terminal affixes 
and particles, and for the attempt chiefly far from suc- 
cessful to render the phonetic value of foreign proper 
nouns, and other foreign words. The impossibility of 
doing this successfully becomes apparent when it is 
stated that there is no true L-sound in Japanese, and, 

* I, Ro, Ha, being the first three syllables in Kobo Daishi's metrical 
table, are used, like our ABC, to indicate the whole syllabary. A Japanese 
child "learns its Iro ha" as ours "learn their ABC." 


consequently, no sign to represent such a sound, just as 
there is no true R-sound in Chinese. Curiously enough, the 
Japanese attempt to pronounce our L results in an R-sound ; 
they say "Rondon" for London, whereas the Chinese, in 
trying to articulate a foreign word containing an R, pro- 
nounce it as an L, and inform you quite calmly that their 
staple food consists of " Zice." * A Japanese would re- 
mark, conversely, that "Rice are very unpleasant insects." 
The Koreans are as exasperating to the Occidental 
student as the Japanese in their adherence to the Chinese 
ideograms, instead of using generally the much simpler 
phonetic character, called On-mun, they possess. Intro- 
duced by Royal Edict in A.D. 1447, it consists of only 
twenty-five letters, representing, not syllables, but eleven 
vowels and fourteen consonants, constituting, therefore, a 
real phonetic alphabet, and, moreover, a highly logical and 
scientific one, with characteristic bases for each group of 
letters, according to the sounds labials, dentals, palatals, 
gutturals, and laryngeals. This remarkable alphabet, the 
letters of which are easy to form, and pleasing to the 
eye, is so beautifully simple that the wrong-headed Koreans 
treat it with supreme contempt. It is considered so 
ridiculously easy that no attempt is made to teach it. 
Every Korean boy and girl is expected to learn it by his, 
or her, own slight exertions. The numerous school- 
masters, often Yang-ban, for tuition is the only occupa- 
tion an impoverished Korean aristocrat can turn to for 
a living, reserve their energies for teaching the abnormally 
difficult Chinese ideographic writing. So the beautiful 
alphabet is looked upon as common and vulgar ; the 
Korean gentry, although they all know it, use it only 
when writing what women (who use it habitually) and 
the uneducated classes are to read. Hence its use, 
mixed with the Chinese ideograms of common occurrence, 
in Proclamations to the people. 

* In the language of Peking there is a sound, exasperatingly difficult for 
Occidentals to imitate, which is somewhat like "rlj." 

"A FELT WANT." 197 

Chinese ideograms, Japanese Hiragana and Kata-kana, 
and Korean alphabetic characters, are all written, with the 
same kind of brush, ink, and stone as implements, in 
vertical columns from top to bottom, beginning at the 
right hand top corner of the paper, so that a book in any 
Far Eastern characters begins where our books end not 
the only Far Eastern custom that appears topsy-turvy to 
our eyes. From the phonetic nature of the Japanese 
Kana and the Korean alphabet it may be inferred that the 
introduction of telegraphy into those countries did not 
encounter the linguistic obstacles that were, ultimately, so 
ingeniously surmounted in the case of China. And now 
China has telegraphs, and actually works them herself, 
with pig-tailed operators all of the male sex, whereas in 
Japan dear, demure, little musumt are, almost exclusively, 
employed in the Telephone Exchanges. 

China's adoption of telegraphy was, like all her moves 
in the direction of progress, the result not so much 
of a desire to confer benefits on the population, nor 
even to enrich the national exchequer, as of the com- 
pulsion of necessity. When, in 1879, the Chinese Special 
Envoy, CHUNG How, instead of inducing the Russians to 
evacuate the Chinese Territory of Hi, in the extreme 
North- West where the Tsar's troops had occupied Kuldja 
during the commotion caused by the establishment of 
Yakub Beg's Kingdom of Kashgaria had signed the 
humiliating Treaty of Livadia, the Regents at Peking had 
become thoroughly alarmed at the want of means of rapid 
communication that had placed the interests of China at 
the mercy of an incompetent, some say a venal, Envoy, 
placed beyond their control. Had they been aware of 
the course of the "negotiations" by which CHUNG 
How was bullied, or cajoled, or "persuaded" in the 
manner so well understood by both parties to the Treaty, 
into a surrender that bore all the appearances of a 
betrayal, they would have broken off the pourparlers and 
at once recalled their faithless, or inefficient, representative. 


But there was no telegraph station nearer to Peking 
than Shanghai, where the enterprising Great Northern 
Telegraph Company, a powerful international corpora- 
tion principally Danish and Russian had surreptitiously 
landed the shore end of their coast cable from Hong- 
kong in the silent watches of a dark night in 1871. Had 
the Mandarins noticed the operation, the usual opposi- 
tion would have been encountered by the Company per- 
mission had not been sought, as it would not have 
been granted without years of wearisome negotiations and, 
probably, more than one hard " squeeze " ; once the cable 
was in full working order, and wealthy Chinese merchants 
had been coaxed into using it, the authorities accepted the 
accomplished fact, as they generally do. 

When, at last, the Regents at Peking realised the 
dangers they had incurred by the delay in communicating 
with CHUNG How, they resolved to follow the advice oi 
their famous Viceroy, the late General Tso Tsung-tang, a 
really great Chinese, one of the same stamp as Admiral 
Ting, and to adopt the mysterious invention of the Outer 
Barbarians that would enable them to "talk over the 
wires" with their Envoys in distant lands, to receive 
instantaneous reports from all parts of the huge Empire, 
and to flash orders to the great army in the far North- 
West, the host that had, under Tso's leadership, anni- 
hilated the Mohammedan Kingdom which Yakub Beg had 
set up in Kashgaria. CHUNG How returned to China 
in January, 1880, not without grave misgivings, for he 
must have begun to reflect that his signing away to 
Russia an important tract of Hi, with all the strategically 
valuable passes in the Tien Shan mountains, the great 
trading city of Yarkand, and an "indemnity" of five 
million roubles thrown in, was not likely to strike the 
Regents as a piece of brilliant diplomacy. It did not ; 
the Regents repudiated him and his precious Treaty, 
degraded him, and resolved to purify their Diplomatic 
Service by decapitating him. CHUNG How was, however, 


reprieved and set free, an act of clemency that was 
attributed, by Occidentals, to the intercession of the 
Foreign Ministers in Peking. It is quite possible that it 
was due to different causes, never to be known in the 
West, and, perchance, not entirely unconnected with some 
process of disgorging ill-gotten gains. Another famous 
Chinese statesman, the late Marquis Tseng, went to St. 
Petersburg and negotiated a fresh Treaty, ratified in 
August, 1 88 1, that was almost as great a surprise to the 
world as CHUNG How's, but in the opposite direction 
it actually afforded the unusual spectacle of Russia giving 
up something she had "acquired" 1 By its terms, Russia 
returned nearly the whole of the Territory of Hi, including 
Kuldja, to China, retaining only a strip on the western 
frontier of the territory, and receiving from the Peking 
Government an "indemnity" of nine millions of roubles 
" in full satisfaction of all claims." Twice within seventeen 
years, in Kuldja, in 1881, and in Korea, in 1898, Russia 
has, in her admirable wisdom, given up what she had 
gripped in her hand of iron retiring both times for 
inscrutable reasons, but, we may be sure, always to her 
ultimate benefit. There is an appropriate French idiom : 
Redder pour mieux sauter. 

The fear of war with Russia, that had seemed immi- 
nent, passed away, but the resolve to introduce telegraphy, 
which the peril .had induced, remained, and the land lines 
were commenced in 1881, after the public mind had been 
calmed by the assurance, on the part of several renowned 
"Literati," that telegraphy was really only a revival, in 
a highly-developed form, of an invention originating, like 
all others, in the early days of Ancient China, when two 
famous sages had held converse at a distance along a 
stretched string. Now the lines extend unto the utmost 
parts of the Empire, from north to south and from east 
to west. A sign of real progress, truly, but slightly 
diminished in its significance when we consider what sort 
of Government Messages occasionally flash along the wires 


"On His Imperial Majesty's Service." That very modern 
giant, Electricity, must wince when he is bidden to convey 
a message from the Governor of a Province to Peking, 
reporting that he has had a whole street pulled down 
because a case of parricide had occurred in one of the 
houses and, as every Chinese knows, there must have been 
gross remissness on the part of the neighbours, who cannot 
have exerted their influence to preserve a high moral tone 
in the locality. The Governor asks, too, whether con- 
sidering the heinous nature of the crime, the worst one 
possible he shall have the city wall pulled down at one 
corner, and a round bastion substituted for a square one 
at the East Gate. How the wires must quiver when they 
bear the intelligence from the Capital that a famous 
Chinese Mohammedan rebel chieftain, who had long defied 
the Imperial authority in the wilds of Kan-su, has paid the 
penalty of his high treason considered in China as parri- 
cide, revolt being construed into an attempt on the life 
of the Emperor, who is the Father of his People, and, 
like all Chinese fathers, "He who must be obeyed" and 
transmit, in curt sentences, an account of his undergoing 
the extreme punishment appointed by the law, the ling-chi, 
or slow death by slicing, after the extermination by the 
executioner's sword, in his presence, of his whole family, 
including his grandfather, eighty years of age, his mother, 
his wife, and his five children, the youngest ten months 
old ! * Or, perhaps, the message that speeds along is from 
His Excellency the Governor-General of the Two Kwang, 
reporting a drought, and asking that chastisement be meted 
out to him by the Board of Punishments, as the drought 
was inflicting serious damage on the Provinces for which 
he was responsible. Thus did Li Hung-chang, when 

* In cases of forgery of important official documents (such as a Memorial 
to the Throne, as on gth February, 1896) the punishment of the innocent 
members of the culprit's family is tempered by clemency (!). The lives 
of the sons under sixteen are spared, but they are turned into eunuchs, 
and the daughters are sold into slavery, generally to brothels. 


reporting to the Throne, in the summer of 1888, on the 
overflow of the Yung-ting River, that had caused fearful 
damage in the Province of Chih-li, under his govern- 
ment, propose that his subordinates who appear to 
have manfully done their best to stem the flood and to 
succour the inhabitants, even at the risk of their own 
lives should be reduced in rank all round, and that his 
own name should be submitted to the Board of Punish- 
ments for the pronouncement of such sentence as might 
be thought commensurate with his "crime." According 
to Chinese ideas, any disaster, however unavoidable, is 
held to be a mark of the unworthiness of those in power 
not, as in mediaeval, and, in some circles, still in modern 
Europe, as a " judgment " on a sinful community. The 
Emperor himself, in numerous Proclamations, assumes his 
share of the responsibility for national disasters, attri- 
buting them to his own manifold shortcomings, imploring 
the forgiveness of outraged Heaven, whose wrath has 
been plainly manifested by flood, famine, or rebellion, 
and promising to reform his conduct. The same notion 
prevails in Korea, where the monarch, autocrat though 
he be, makes public and abject confession of his unworthi- 
ness whenever more than usually acute troubles arise in 
that distressful country. Even in New Japan, the belief 
in the intimate relation of the sovereign's personal worth 
to the national prosperity, or misfortune, lingers in men's 
minds, and, as this, originally Chinese, conception cuts 
both ways, the masses attribute the glorious success of 
the nation's enterprises, in peace and war, to the 
resplendent virtues of their Emperor. 

The official messages conveyed along the wires in 
China are sometimes of a more cheering nature than 
those of which I have given specimens. For instance, the 
telegraph may be used to communicate the Imperial Edict, 
just sealed with the Vermilion Seal, ordering certain local 
authorities to erect a Memorial Arch in honour of the spirit 
of the late Widow Chung, distinguished by her good deeds, 


and especially by the example of filial piety she gave, some 
years ago, by cutting a slice off her thigh, and cooking it, 
that it might be eaten by her mother-in-law, for whom 
this diet had been prescribed by an eminent physician, as 
a probable cure, provided the patient were kept in ignor- 
ance of its nature, for an obstinate disease. Or the 
Governor of An-hui may "wire" to Peking, as he did 
in the spring of 1889, the gleeful intelligence that of the 
competitors at the examination for literary degrees the 
only path to official rank and civil employment held in 
his Province, thirty-five were over eighty years old, and 
eighteen over ninety. A life-time of being "ploughed" 
could not daunt these indomitable old boys, whose 
essays were reported to be "perfectly accurate in diction, 
and the hand- writing firm and distinct." It is satisfactory 
to know that those who could prove that sixty years 
the real "Cycle of Cathay" had elapsed since they took 
their Bachelor's Degree, and that they had been " plucked " 
at the three last examinations for the higher step, -were 
entitled, should they fail in this fourth attempt, to claim 
an Honorary Degree. There used to be a doggerel verse 
current at an English University, which proclaimed the 
fact that : 

" There was a man at Hall, 

Who knew next to nothing at all. 
He was forty-three 
When he took his degree; 
Which was young for Hall." . 

Had he studied in An-hui, he might have "chummed" 
with an Undergraduate of sixty-four a mere Freshman. 
On the third of January, 1896, at early morn for 
Majesty transacts its business betimes at Peking, confer- 
ring with the Cabinet Ministers at 4, and even at 3, A.M. a 
package labelled " Respectful Memorials from CH'EN Pao- 
chen, Governor of Hu-nan," was opened in the " Pink For- 
bidden Precincts." Within an hour some things are done 
quickly in China a message was on its way, partly by tele- 


graph, partly by courier, to the Governor, informing him 
that "on the package being opened, the usual Memorial 
asking after the Imperial healths of Their Majesties the 
Emperor, the Empress Dowager, and Empress, was absent, 
which is a grave dereliction of etiquette," and that, " in 
punishment thereof," he would be "handed to the Board 
of Civil Appointments for the determination of an appro- 
priate penalty." One wonders what the Board would 
consider " appropriate " to " make the punishment fit the 
crime," as Mr. W. S. Gilbert puts it. Perhaps "Some- 
thing humorous and lingering, with boiling oil in it " ? 

Lest it be thought that these instances of the very 
Chinese nature of official acts in what is still Old China 
might be looked upon as fanciful distortions of fact, I may 
state that every one of them is to be found, amidst 
hundreds of others of a similar character, recorded in the 
cold, dry, official style of the Peking Gazette, that epitome 
of all " things Chinese," the official journal of the Empire, 
and the oldest periodical on earth. It has appeared daily 
since the middle of the fourteenth century (although not 
always under its present title, as Peking did not become 
the Capital until the Emperor Ch'eng-tsu, of the Ming 
dynasty, established his court there in A.D. 1421,) so that 
the earlier back numbers are scarce. An excellent English 
translation of this unique newspaper is now issued annu- 
ally by the Shanghai North China Herald, as a reprint 
of the abstracts from the Gazette that have appeared in 
its columns during the year. Those who want to know 
Chinese life in all its intricate detail, to study the extra- 
ordinary medley of contradictions that constitutes the 
character of the Chinese, and to marvel at the nature of 
the Government, so nearly perfect in theory, so defective 
in practice, that has, with all its faults, managed to 
control three or four hundred millions of people for a 
period longer by far than that covered by any other rule 
in the history of the world should read the translation 
of the Peking Gazette. 


They should study these unique annals, however, 
by the light of some of the excellent books that have 
been written, in popular style, by men who have devoted 
their lives to the investigation of the Mystery of China. 
Of the more recent works of this kind, Professor R. K. 
Douglas's Society in China contains, for its size, an im- 
mense amount of information ; Chinese Characteristics, 
by the Reverend Arthur H. Smith, twenty-two years a 
Missionary of the American Board in China, The Chinese, 
their Present and Future : Medical, Political, and Social, 
by Robert Coltman, Jr., M.D., formerly a Medical Mis- 
sionary in Northern China, and The Real Chinaman, by 
Chester Holcombe, for many years Interpreter, Secretary 
of Legation, and Acting Minister of the United States at 
Peking these are all veritable treasuries of Chinese lore. 
The works by Smith, Coltman, and Holcombe are so 
admirably written, sparkling with humour, and full of 
good and true stories, that they may be thoroughly 
enjoyed even by those who took no particular interest in 
China before their perusal. It will be strange if they do 
not become thus interested after reading these fascinating 
books. When their appetite is once whetted, they will 
relish the fare set before them in Stories of Everyday 
Life in Modern China, "told by Chinese and done into 
English by " T. Watters, late H.B.M. Consul at Foochow 
(or, according to the new, and more scientific, ortho- 
graphy : Fu-chau,) in A Corner of Cathay, " studies 
from life among the Chinese," by Adele M. Fielde, an 
American lady who resided for fifteen years in China, 
chiefly at Swatow (or Swa-tau), in the south-eastern 
corner of the Empire ; and in A String of Chinese 
Peach-Stones, by W. Arthur Cornaby, who has strung 
together a large number of vivid sketches of life and 
character in Central China, presented in the form of a 

Thus the enquirer into the truth about China may 
equip himself for his study of the Peking Gazette, 


and become able to weigh judiciously the views as to the 
great Chinese Problem propounded by many eminent 
writers notably in China Present and Past, a collection 
of valuable essays by R. S. Gundry, in Lord Curzon of 
Kedleston's brilliant Problems of the Far East, in the 
pregnant chapters of Colquhoim's China in Transformation, 
in Valentine Chirol's amplification in book form, under the 
title of Ihe Far Eastern Question, of his admirable letters 
to the Times, and in the breezy pages of Pioneering in 
Formosa, by W. A. Pickering, C.M.G. But no views as 
to the future of China can be appreciated at their proper 
value, no personal opinion can be rightly formed, unless 
it be constantly borne in mind that the Chinese are 
Chinese, not Occidentals, and that, consequently, our own 
standards must be discarded in measuring their capacity 
for national reform and regeneration. How very unlike 
ourselves the Chinese are in their modes of thought, how 
widely divergent from us in their way of considering 
almost every subject, can, I think, be shown most clearly 
by continuing to cite instances of recent occurrence which 
go to prove that China is Old China still. 

The public mind in Occidental countries seems to have 
become imbued with the idea that China is yearning for 
railways. No such feeling has entered into the Chinese 
heart. It never yearns for any innovation from abroad. 
There can be no doubt, however, that the attitude of 
the official class towards the introduction of railways 
throughout the Empire has undergone a very marked 
change since 1887, when a Memorial proposing the con- 
struction of an "experimental railway" from Ta-ku to 
Tien-tsin was presented to the Empress Regent by the 
Board of Admiralty (!) and led to the issue by Her Majesty 
of an Imperial Edict formally sanctioning the scheme. 
Sullen opposition and active interference have been 
replaced by lively interest, and the great Mandarins lend 
willing ears to the persistent representations of energetic 
would-be concessionaires, whose pockets bulge with plans 


and estimates for lines from anywhere to everywhere 
within the borders of the Flowery Land. 

What is the cause of this welcome change of front ? 
Have the ruling classes become penetrated by the con- 
viction that the iron road will, as many Occidentals 
maintain, prove to be China's salvation ? Are they, at 
last, alive to the incalculable benefits to accrue to Chinese 
commerce, to the development of the country's immense 
resources, and especially of its almost untouched mineral 
wealth, by the general introduction of railways ? Are they 
now convinced of the prosperity it would bring to millions 
of the people ? In the case of a few enlightened officials 
the change of opinion has, undoubtedly, been brought 
about by considerations of this nature, for, be it remem- 
bered, there are Mandarins who are as capable of appre- 
ciating the benefits of Western civilisation as are the 
men of New Japan, but the number of such is lamentably 
small and increasing but slowly. The great majority of 
those officials who give their countenance to railway 
projects do so either honestly, from a desire to see their 
country provided with the greatest facilities for rapid trans- 
port, not of produce, or minerals questions of economic 
development do not, as a rule, engross their attention 
nor of passengers in their opinion the existing facilities 
for travel are sufficient but of troops and material of 
war for the prompt repression of the ever-recurring insur- 
rections and for the purpose, cherished secretly in their 
hearts, of some day driving the hated "Foreign Devils" 
from the sacred soil of China ; or they have been con- 
verted to their present frame of mind by a reason potent 
beyond all others with the average Mandarin ; they have 
discovered railway enterprise to be a lucrative opportunity 
of " Squeeze-P/rf/m." Even if the line be never con- 
structed, the eager concession-hunter will have been well 
"squeezed," an operation that affords not only profit, but 
the delightful consciousness that the lucre is being extracted 
from the pockets of the despised foreigner. Should the 


construction be really undertaken, the opportunities for 
further extortion, from natives as well as foreigners, are 
unbounded. In the transfer of the necessary land, the 
supply of materials obtained locally, and of labour, the 
official "squeeze" can be applied in ways too numerous 
to mention. Every contract and sub-contract will leave 
a substantial percentage on the Mandarin's palm, and, far 
from allaying its normal itching, will only increase the 
craving for a repeated application. Once the railway is in 
operation, new "squeezes" will be invented with astonish- 
ing rapidity. From the plate-layer to the General Manager, 
every servant, or official, of the line will have to pay 
tribute to the Mandarin, either directly or, more probably, 
through the numerous "suckers" of the Chinese official 
octopus the Yamtn "Runners" and others of the 
motley crew of parasites that cluster round every man 
in authority in the "Middle Empire." It has been truly 
said that the British Empire is "Entirely Supported by 
Voluntary Contributions." The Empire of China may, with 
equal justice, be said to derive its financial means of 
existence from a system of illegal "commissions." The 
normal taxation is so light that it cannot possibly satisfy 
the calls of the Treasury, the revenue from the Maritime 
Customs, the only honestly-administered source of income, 
is hypothecated to the foreign creditors of the State, and 
the amounts forwarded to Peking by the Viceroys and 
Governors-General to fill up the permanent deficit, as well 
as the sums requisite for the administration of the Eighteen 
Provinces and the Territories, must needs be produced by 
other means. 

What those means may be is left to the discretion of 
the wretchedly underpaid officials a Viceroy, governing 
territories as large as, and far more populous than, France, 
receives, as yearly salary and "Anti-extortion Allowance," 
not more than six thousand pounds sterling and the 
result may be easily imagined. The British race, with that 
admirable common-sense that still distinguishes it in private 


matters, although it seems, unfortunately, to have occasion- 
ally deserted it in affairs of State, long ago recognised the 
great truth that to pay a man well is the surest way to 
keep him honest. China is oblivious of this great principle. 
So is Korea, and even in Japan, whose administration is, in 
many respects, a model worthy of imitation, the salaries, 
especially in the judicial branch, might be raised with 
great advantage to the efficiency of the public service. 
In China, the Mandarin robs unblushingly right and 
left, because, unless he have considerable private means, 
he is obliged to ; and the necessity for theft in- 
creases as the lower grades ot officials and hangers-on 
are reached, who are dependent on their "pickings" for 
a living. "We must live," plead the peccant petty 
Mandarin, his Clerk, the " Precedent-Searcher " who hangs 
about round the Yamen, and assists litigants with his 
knowledge of ancient cases (he is the Chinese substitute 
for our Solicitor, and leaves "the daughter of the horse- 
leech" far behind in unsatisfied greed), the Constable, and 
the hundred and one rapacious underlings who form a 
disreputable body-guard to the thief on a grand scale 
who sits enthroned in the Yamen. " We must live," is the 
cry of all of them. One feels tempted to reply, as the 
French judge did to the thief's similar plea : "Je rien vois 
pas la ntcessite." 

Truly, the lowest depths of official corruption and 
extortion appear to have been reached in China, although 
there are, as there must always be, some bright exceptions 
to prove the rule a few officials as honest and as zealous 
as any in the world. But the majority are dishonest, in- 
efficient and cruelly extortionate, the only limit to their, 
exactions being the twofold fear of having to share too 
palpable booty with a superior whose cupidity might be 
attracted by its magnitude, and of pushing the people to 
the verge of insurrection, a sacred right even the marvel- 
lously patient Chinese resort to when too harshly oppressed. 
And the occurrence of riots, or of the more passive resistance 


frequently adopted, in the shape of a general strike on 
the part of the aggrieved shopkeepers, or craftsmen, leads 
to notice being taken at Peking and to an enquiry being 
ordered. The enquiry is duly held, with all the show ol 
absolute impartiality peculiar to the theoretically perfect 
form of paternal government. Fathoms of " Yellow Tape " 
are unwound, yards and yards of thin paper are covered 
with ideograms, and, nine times out of ten, the offending 
Mandarin is reported to the Throne as being guilty. His 
punishment depends greatly upon the degree of safety 
with which the Government may disregard popular feeling 
in that particular district. If it may safely be appeased by 
merely transferring the guilty Mandarin to another locality, 
that is all the punishment that will be officially meted out 
to him, with a warning as to his future conduct. This he 
generally receives with a genuinely contrite mien, as he 
thinks of the large sum he has had to part with to the 
powers that be in order to secure the lenient sentence. 

If, on the contrary, the district be a turbulent one, 
and likely to give serious trouble one, for instance, with 
a large proportion of Chinese Mohammedans, sturdy and 
independent, in its population; or, if the district be situated 
in Southern China, one with a large number of those hulk- 
ing, ill-conditioned, rough fellows, with pigtails thick as 
stout ropes coiled round their villainous heads, who live 
from hand to mouth by odd jobs and questionable expe- 
dients, and, when they emigrate to the Straits Settlements, 
become the Samseng, the loafers and bullies who are the 
terror of Singapore, then the high authorities will make 
the Mandarin suffer severely for his misdeeds. In such 
cases, even his ill-gotten wealth may be powerless to save 
him from degradation and dismissal, for his superiors are 
determined in their purpose to make a severe example 
of an official who robs so clumsily and so greedily as to 
provoke what the Pidj in-English tongue aptly describes as 
"too muchee bobbery." * 

* Bobbery, trouble, commotion, disorder, row, fuss. 


That is the first principle of Chinese administrative 
science : No " bobbery." The Province that has no his- 
tory is the happy land; the Viceroy who is but seldom 
heard of is persona gratissima within the " Pink Forbidden 
City." The chief aim of that greatest of all Chinese, KONG 
Fu-sze, whom Occidentals have Latinised into " Confucius," 
appears to have been the regulation of public and private 
life in all their phases, so that the existence of every 
human being, as a duly-subordinated link in an end- 
less chain of mutual responsibility, might run smoothly 
without any " bobbery." Not a very high ideal, perhaps, 
and savouring more of a set of "Rules and Regulations" 
than of the moral and social code to be expected from 
one of the world's greatest leaders of thought, but these 
rules, such as they are, some of them trite, some admir- 
able, all of them severely practical in purpose, have served 
to keep hundreds of millions of men together as a nation, 
with a highly-developed civilisation of a peculiar sort, for 
the space of two thousand and four hundred years, keep 
them together to this day, and will continue to do so for 
generations to come. Whatever flag may wave over 
Peking, the Chinese will continue to be governed by the 
rules of life laid down by Confucius, but having their 
origin in racial characteristics that existed ages before his 
birth in 551 B.C. 

Confucius himself plainly intimated that his guiding 
principles were not original. He called himself a " Trans- 
mitter" and claimed no more than the glory of being the 
wise man par excellence, sapient with the accumulated 
wisdom of past generations, and striving to reconstitute, 
by the help of his study of ancient records, the state ol 
idyllic happiness that is said to have prevailed in the days 
of Yao and of Shun, monarchs of the mythical, or semi- 
mythical, period, some two thousand three hundred years 
B.C. He taught that man, originally good, could, by strict 
adherence to the ancient rules of conduct he professed to 
revive, attain to the perfection, and consequent happiness, 


of the people of that Golden Age. There is no doubt 
that the Sage, himself a typical Chinese, knew his country- 
men thoroughly, and framed for them a rule of life he 
knew to be suited to their racial peculiarities. Hence the 
extraordinary sway his teaching has exercised since his 
death, in 479 B.C., over the minds of the Chinese. Surely, 
the memory of no man, not even of Mohammed, is 
venerated by so many millions at the present time, and 
this veneration of Confucius had existed for a thousand 
years when Mohammed preached Islam. The secret of 
the vitality of the Confucian system of social order it is 
more a Police Code than a Philosophy ; it is certainly 
not a Religion lies in the fact, pointed out above, of its 
being thoroughly Chinese and based on the traditions of 
remote antiquity. Very Chinese and very old these are 
recommendations that outweigh all others in the Chinese 

I have stated that Confucianism is not a Religion. Of 
the two creeds that overlap each other in China, the 
people following the practices of either, or both, as the 
occasion prompts them Taoism was based by Lao-tze, a 
contemporary of Confucius, but his senior, on the Brah- 
minical Philosophy of India but has degenerated into a 
confused farrago of addled metaphysics and of grotesque 
magic rites ; Buddhism, which was a real Religion when 
it was established in China, coming from India, in the first 
century after Christ, has also degenerated. In contact 
with the matter-of-fact Chinese mind, it has lost the 
element of faith, and has sunk from its original purity, 
its noble simplicity, its sweet spirit of universal love and 
charity, so nearly akin to the original precepts of Chris- 
tianity, to its present degraded condition, stifled by 
elaborate ritual, overgrown with gross superstitions, de- 
based by the low moral tone of the majority of its 
priesthood. Neither Taoism nor Buddhism could flourish 
in their pristine purity in China, because neither was 
founded on Chinese lines. That extraordinary racial 


vitality, that changeless spirit of firm adherence to 
national peculiarities, that marvellous imperviousness to 
outer influences, that have enabled the Chinese to assimi- 
late, one after another, the alien nations that conquered 
them, as they assimilated their present Manchu rulers till 
no outward trace of their origin is left, also enabled them 
to modify the religious systems imported from abroad. 
Buddhism attempted to convert the Chinese, and the 
Chinese converted Buddhism. If Christianity ever obtains 
a firm hold in China, it will be by adapting itself to the 
Chinese mind, at present antagonistic. This truth was 
recognised, in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth 
centuries, by those wonderful Jesuit Missionaries who 
gained the favour of the great Emperor K'ang-hi ; it is 
acknowledged to-day by the most enlightened Missionaries 
of all denominations who know China. Once Christianity 
has taken firm root amongst the "Hundred Names," a 
native pastorate will become a necessity. The foreign 
teachers will have to go, and then we may expect strange 
developments. It is quite certain that Christianity in its 
Occidental form will never commend itself to the bulk 
of the Chinese race. A Chinese form, evolved by the 
Chinese themselves from the broad principles inculcated 
by the foreign Missionaries, may prove the salvation of 
China. At all events, whatever may be the form of 
religion adopted by a reformed China if there be ever 
a reformed China seeking for any religion at all it will 
be a Chinese form on Chinese lines. In the meantime, 
Confucianism holds sway as the moral system that checks 
the vices of the average Chinese and encourages them to 

The teachings of Confucius, the works of his commen- 
tators, the ancient classics imbued with his spirit, the 
much more ancient classics that inspired him, these still 
constitute the educational equipment of the Chinese 
Graduate. Efforts have been made, indeed, to introduce 
Occidental sciences, notably mathematics, as optional 



subjects in the great Competitive Examinations, but 
hitherto with scant success. There are Colleges, it is true, 
few and far between, at which the students are put 
through a complete Occidental curriculum under foreign 
teachers ; at Peking, steps were even being taken, early in 
1898, to found a University on the Occidental plan, and the 
diplomatic representatives of foreign states, including Italy 
and the Netherlands, immediately claimed Professorships for 
their compatriots, thus keeping up the tradition that every 
one of the slight indications of a progressive movement on 
the part of China is to be the signal for an undignified game 
of grab by the Western countries each one for itself, and 
the Tsung-li Yamen take the hindmost with the result, 
usually, that the contemplated step forward is never taken, 
China being unable to satisfy all the contending nations, 
and afraid to offend some by favouring others. 

Small as are the beginnings of Occidental education in 
China, they have already borne good fruit, thanks to the zeal 
of the foreign teachers, and to the marvellous perseverance, 
the natural abilities, and the extraordinary memory of the 
students (there are many Chinese scholars who can 
recite a bulky classic by heart). But the point that 
demands attention is that, in establishing a University, 
Colleges, and special Schools for the Navy and the Army, 
and so forth, the Imperial Government, and the various 
Viceroys who have established these institutions inde- 
pendently, without any plan of co-ordination, have not 
in view the general raising of a standard of useful know- 
ledge throughout the Empire. Their purpose and it 
applies also to their sending students to Europe and 
to America is merely to ensure a supply of technically 
trained officers for their modern navy and the " foreign- 
drilled " portion of their land forces, linguists for employ- 
ment as interpreters and translators in the Tsung-li 
Yamen's continual negotiations with foreign Powers, 
engineers for their arsenals, and Secretaries and Attaches 
for their diplomatic service. The men who fill the 


highest offices of the State, and direct its policy, have 
not enjoyed the benefits of an Occidental education. The 
great Li Hung-chang himself, in spite of what he learned 
on his long journey, would be quite unable to pass the 
Sixth Standard of a Board School, even were ; the examina- 
tion conducted in Chinese. 

It is too readily assumed in the West that the aged 
Chinese statesman's " grand tour " of the principal capitals 
must needs have convinced him of the superlative excel- 
lence of our civilisation. He had long ago recognised the 
great importance to his country of a reform, on Occi- 
dental scientific principles, of her defensive forces ; he 
even contemplated taking the offensive against Japan as 
soon as the navy and the army he had created could be 
trained by the foreign Instructors in his pay to a degree 
of efficiency ensuring, in his opinion, a certainty of suc- 
cess. I have already referred, in the First Chapter, to 
his schemes to this end. Li Hung-chang had also re- 
solved, long before his journey, on calling in the aid 01 
steam and electricity for the development of the re- 
sources of the Provinces under his rule, more especially 
of those portions constituting his own private estates. He 
had introduced Occidental expert assistance and modern 
scientific appliances with this end in view, and to these 
far-seeing measures he owes, no doubt, to a great extent, 
the very flourishing state of his exchequer, his private for- 
tune being estimated at various immense sums, expressed 
in millions of pounds sterling. He had likewise established 
Colleges where young men might be trained in Western 
knowledge so as to become efficient assistants to carry 
out his plans. Even the medical science of the Occident 
found in him a generous patron, for he understood the im- 
portance of skilful physicians and well-ordered hospitals in 
preserving the lives and the health of the people who 
were helping him to make his Provinces prosperous, and 
himself enormously wealthy. 

But as for a recognition of the principles under- 


lying the strength and prosperity of the West, that 
was, probably, as far from his mind on his return to his 
Yamen at Tien-tsin as when he left China to represent 
the Son of Heaven at the Coronation Ceremonies at 
Moscow. Need we wonder if the impression he brought 
back was not very flattering to our estimation of the 
moral results of our vaunted civilisation ? At every capi- 
tal he visited, he found elaborate preparations to impress 
him with the paramount importance of that particular 
country. The German Emperor, with that instinct for 
stage-management and effect that aroused the envy of the 
late Sir Augustus Harris, received him seated on his 
throne, with stern, impassive mien, a sword laid across 
his knees a truly impressive type of Imperial Majesty, 
armed and omnipotent. Li understood it all ; it was so 
like Peking and the Dragon Throne in the Pink For- 
bidden Precincts. But it was when he came into contact 
with the representatives of our great industries, of our 
commerce and finance, that the narrow eyes began to 
twinkle. Those who had the best opportunities of watch- 
ing him closely during his visit to the manufacturing and 
commercial centres must have been struck not only by 
his pleasing geniality of manner, so unlike the pomposity 
usual in the Mandarin, but by the instructive expression 
of his face as he listened to the many addresses of wel- 
come, the numerous toasts in his honour, all duly trans- 
lated for his benefit by his skilful interpreters. I stood 
by his side at his reception by the President and Council 
of the London Chamber of Commerce in the magnificent 
Hall of the Fishmongers' Company, and I scrutinised 
his striking features intently as he listened to the trans- 
lation of the various speeches addressed to him. I shall 
never forget the contemptuous expression that came over 
his face, the slight movement of the shoulders of the 
towering figure, and, above all, the amused, cynical twinkle 
in the almond eyes behind the great spectacles, as he 
heard the assurances of " the warm sympathy with his 


ancient country, " the profound respect " for himself 01 
those who lavished fulsome praise on an Empire they 
considered rotten, and on a man whose chief importance 
in their eyes lay in his presumed willingness to give away 
large contracts. Then he was "the enlightened statesman 
who was guiding his great country's destiny towards a 
splendid future," but he knew full well that, once he had 
departed, and with him the hope of contracts and con- 
cessions, he would be "the rapacious old intriguer who 
hoodwinked Europe and America." What a dance he 
led those effusive old gentlemen, in resplendent white 
waistcoats and with hats of superlative glossiness, who 
swarmed round him from morning till night, explaining 
the hundred and one inventions, every one of which was 
sufficient in itself to regenerate the whole of China. He 
listened and smiled, and the " free samples " of heavy 
castings for steam-engines, of bayonets, bicycles, and 
torpedos, of sewing-machines and patent harness-paste, of 
steel rails and lawn-mowers, and all the other indispens- 
able adjuncts to the regeneration of a great nation, 
accumulated at his door, and were shipped to Tien-tsin, 
together with reams of railway projects and financial 
schemes, and hundredweights of " improving literature." 
But the tall old man continued to smile, and smile, and 
bowed 'himself out of the country, and fierce envy filled 
the heart of every would-be regenerator, because he knew 
someone else must have got that contract, for he had 
not. Then the regenerators compared notes and they 
found that not one of them had got any contract at all, 
no not even those who had caused champagne to flow 
like water and had wasted their substance on flags and 
triumphal arches, decked with paper roses, in grimy manu- 
facturing towns. And they waxed wroth, so that a 
battalion of them would easily have stormed the great 
Island Fort at Wei-hai-wei, had not the Japanese long 
previously hoisted their flag on it. 

Those who believe that China is ripe for reform often 


allege that the strenuous efforts of devoted Missionaries 
of various denominations, working for years amongst the 
people in every part of the Empire, must have prepared 
the way for the proximate regeneration of the Chinese 
race on a Christian basis. Here I approach delicate 
ground, for those who best know China are divided in 
their opinion on the whole subject of Missionary efforts 
in Far Cathay. I shall at once please many, I feel sure, 
by declaring my firm belief that the Missionaries, both 
Roman Catholics and Protestants of all denominations, 
have done a vast amount of good in the Far East, and 
especially in China, the greatest share being, undoubtedly, 
due to those who have adopted educational or medical 
work particularly the latter as their sphere of action. 
But I must be strictly impartial, and I am compelled to 
add that the sum total of the results achieved is but a 
drop in the Chinese ocean. Insignificant as these results 
are, compared with the enormous population, they have 
been obtained only at the cost of many precious lives, 
and of an amount of devotion and energy, and an ex- 
penditure of money, that ought, if properly directed, to 
have achieved a far greater measure of success. 

The prime cause is to be found in the lamentable 
rivalry existing between the three great branches of Chris- 
tianity, Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Protestant, 
and between the denominations, too numerous to mention, 
into which Protestantism is split up. Hence a frittering 
of resources, an overlapping of spheres of activity, and 
worse still a pernicious effect on the minds of those 
whose conversion is to be attempted. Those who do not 
scoff at the sorry spectacle of the dissensions between 
the Missionaries of the different denominations, each 
recommending his own way as the only safe road to 
Salvation dissensions fortunately now less violent than 
in the past are bewildered by the multiplicity of spiritual 
guides. On several occasions, when I have asked some 
highly-educated Oriental, trained in Western knowledge 


and, apparently, in every respect capable of seeing eye to 
eye with Occidentals, why he did not embrace Chris- 
tianity, he has answered : " What sort of Christianity ? " 
And there has been an ironical tone in the apparently 
innocent words. 

Even with the disadvantage of- scattered and disunited 
forces, Christianity might have made greater headway in the 
Far East had not its modern preachers begun their labours 
at the wrong end. In China, governed by an omnipotent 
literary bureaucracy, absolutely uninfluenced by any 
spiritual movement among the masses, the Missionaries 
have, in the nineteenth century, devoted their attention 
almost exclusively to the lower social strata. A few of 
the more enlightened ones notably the Reverend Dr. 
W. A. P. Martin, the American President of the Imperial 
Tung- Wen College at Peking, the Reverend Dr. A. William- 
son, and the Reverend Gilbert Reid, M.A., an American 
of Scottish descent long since recognised the fallacy of 
this method, and advocated an entirely opposite course. 
The late Sir Thomas Wade, for many years Her Britannic 
Majesty's representative in China, strongly supported the 
view that any important change in the attitude of the 
Chinese towards Christianity must proceed from the upper 
classes. The history of the successful introduction of alien 
creeds into Far Eastern countries teaches the same lesson. 
When Buddhism entered into China, from India, for the 
second time, in A.D. 61 on the first occasion, in 219 B.C., 
its Missionaries were unsuccessful when it was first intro- 
duced, in A.D. 552, from China, through Korea, into Japan, 
it made its first appearance at court, not amongst the 
people. It was by Special Ambassadors whom the Em- 
peror Ming-ti, of the Later Han Dynasty, had sent 
abroad to make enquiry into the existence and powers of 
the mighty spirit "Fo" as the Buddha is called in 
Chinese that the Indian religion was brought to China, 
where it spread with amazing rapidity under the powerful 
patronage of the Sovereign. The Indian priests, who had 


accompanied the Ambassadors on their return to China, 
had a hard struggle against the scepticism of the Literati 
Confucianists to a man, then as now but the Emperor 
had adopted the new faith, and that was enough ; the 
bulk of the people followed suit. Similarly, in Japan, the 
first tangible evidences of Buddhism a golden image of 
Buddha and some scrolls of the sacred writings came to 
the Emperor Kimmei as presents from the King of 
Kakusai, one of the states into which Korea was divided. 
The Ambassador who brought these gifts spoke so elo- 
quently in favour of the new religion that the Emperor 
was inclined to adopt it, but the majority of his Coun- 
cillors were opposed to it, fearing that the truly national 
gods, the Kami of the Shin-to cult, would object to the 
foreign intruder, however highly recommended. The Prime 
Minister, SOGA-NO Iname*, alone favoured the adoption of 
the new creed by the Emperor, who, in his perplexity, 
took a course not unusual with those who receive an 
embarrassing present he passed on the golden image to 
someone else, in this case to the Prime Minister, who 
was ordered to make a trial of the new god. SOGA-NO 
Iname* accordingly made his country house into a temple 
for the Golden Buddha. This seemed to displease the 
Shin-to deities, who felt that the moment had come to 
discredit their alien rival, the Buddha who was enshrined, 
so to say, "on approbation," and they caused a pestilent 
fever to devastate the land. The conservative majority 
in the Council at once pointed to the golden image as the 
prime cause of the epidemic. It was promptly hurled 
into the sea by the command of the indignant Emperor, 
and its temple was razed to the ground, which seems 
rather hard on the Prime Minister, whose country house 
it was. The new faith was not going to allow itself to 
be so easily disposed of, and it sent such a succession of 
calamities to punish Japan for its inhospitable treatment 
that the Shin-to gods' pestilence seemed but a minor 
temporary inconvenience in comparison. Straightway the 


Emperor repented ; a new temple was erected, the golden 
Buddha was miraculously recovered from the sea (not, 
however, by a diver, like the golden dolphin of Nagoya 
Castle, mentioned in the last Chapter,) and the country 
was at rest. * The Emperor Kimmei's successors favoured 
the new religion ; the great nobles followed the Imperial 
example, and as always in the East the masses moved 
with a common impulse in the wake of their rulers. 

Buddhism, the faith that counts the vast majority of 
Far Eastern people amongst its adherents in Korea alone 
has it lost ground within the last five centuries, being there 
little more than a shadow of its former glory was thus 
introduced into both China and Japan under Imperial 
patronage. It permeated the whole social fabric from 
above ; there seems but little hope of any religion spread- 
ing through the nations of the Far East from below. The 
first European Missionaries who landed on the shores or 
China and of Japan, the fearless pioneers from Portugal 
and, later, from Spain, seem to have judged the situation 
aright from the very first. They wasted no time, but 
proceeded straight to the fountain-head of local authority 
in Japan the court of the feudal Prince, in China, the 
Yamn of the most important Mandarin and ingratiated 
themselves with the highest in the land. The Jesuits 
Frenchmen and others of various European nationalities 
established themselves in the Palace at Peking, erecting 
their church within its pink ramparts, and became the 
trusted high officials and intimate friends of at least three 
of China's greatest Manchu Emperors. In China, as in 
Japan, Christianity, introduced under such high auspices, 
flourished, for a time, to a remarkable degree, numbering 
its churches by hundreds, and its adherents by hundreds 

* The miraculous image is preserved to this day in the great Temple of 
Tennoji at Osaka. Sad to relate, it has been found to consist only 
of gilded copper. Like most relics, it has a rival, a group of three figures 
of real gold in the Temple of Zenkoji, at Nagano, also claiming to be the 
original present of the Korean King to the Emperor Kimmei, 


of thousands. But for the internecine quarrels of the 
various religious orders, the intrigues carried on against 
one another by the different Roman Catholic nationalities, 
and against all of them by the Dutch nominally staunch 
Protestants in those days, but, in the East, really serving 
the great god Mammon alone and, above all, the mis- 
guided interference of a meddlesome Papal Legate, the 
whole of the Far East might now be Christian. The 
mission of that Papal Legate, sent to settle a controversy 
between the learned and practical Jesuits and the perfervid, 
narrow-minded Dominicans, was fatal to the churches in 
China. It convinced the great and enlightened Emperor 
K'ang-hi, who had issued, in 1692, an Edict of Tolerance 
that was one of the noblest to which a Chinese ruler had 
ever affixed the Vermilion Seal, that behind the wonderful 
men from the West who devoted their blameless lives to 
the service of their God, and their extraordinary talents 
and profound knowledge to the service of the Emperor, 
without any thought of personal profit there was a 
mysterious foreign Power actively controlling the millions 
of all races who entered the fold of the Church. From 
that moment, Christianity lost its footing at the Court ol 
Peking as it had lost it in Japan, and the terrible persecu- 
tions began which succeeded, after long years of heroic 
resistance on the part of the European pastors and their 
native flock, in almost obliterating the traces of the glorious 
work achieved by a band of men as steadfast, as brave, 
wise and accomplished as ever sallied forth, with their 
lives in their hands, to do battle for the Cross. 

Untaught by these lessons of history, the modern 
Missionaries devote themselves, almost invariably, to the 
conversion of the lower classes. To appreciate the futility 
of this proceeding, we have only to imagine Britain 
governed absolutely by an administration composed ol 
Newdigate Prizemen, men who have graduated high in 
Classical Honours, and Senior Wranglers. What would we 
think of the wisdom of Buddhists who, wishing to convert 


the whole of the British Empire to their faith, commencea 
operations with a mission to the costermongers in Golden 
Lane and Newport Market, and to the inmates of the 
Salvation Army's " Shelters " ? That is, broadly indicated, 
the position of Missionary enterprise in the Far East. 
The reason for it is not unconnected with the fact of the 
greater ease with which the poorer classes may be brought 
within the fold. Christianity, the religion of consolation 
and sympathy, appeals directly to the suffering poor, 
with its comforting promise of a better hereafter for those 
whose bitter lot in this world is almost beyond human 
endurance. The poor in China lead lives of such unremit- 
ting bitter toil, working from dawn till long after dusk, 
and barely escaping from starvation, that it is surprising 
more of them do not flock to hear the Glad Tidings, as 
the negroes used to in the days of slavery in America. 
As it is, the majority of the converts are people in humble 
life, their number increasing rather suspiciously in the 
times of the ever-recurrent famines, when the Missionaries 
work hard in the distribution of relief. Unfortunately 
for the progress of Christianity in China, the very fact that 
it is there, more than anywhere else, the religion of the 
lowly and the oppressed, attracts to the Chapel a crowd 
of wastrels and social wrecks, who requiring, as they do, 
the consolations of the faith more urgently than their 
prosperous brethren yet do great harm to the Missionary 
cause. If dishonest, and they are often sad impostors, 
making a trade of their conversion/ they bring discredit 

* I knew a Chinese from Canton who tramped all over England, in 
Chinese dress, and fared sumptuously and gratuitously merely by sitting by 
the roadside near the gates of Vicarages and Rectories, poring over a copy 
of the Gospels in Chinese. The following colloquy invariably ensued: 
Vicar,'' or Rector: "What are you reading?" A-Hu: Belong Bible Book. 
My catchee inside Blitish-Foleign Bible House, London-side. Belong 
Numba-One first-chop Book, allosame some part velly hard makee believe ! " 
The good Cleric at once undertook to remove the obstacles obscuring A-Hu's 
comprehension of difficult points of dogma, a process necessitating restora- 
tion of the wayfarer's exhausted frame, and extending in some cases over a 
fortnight. I would be afraid to say how often A-Hu had been " converted," 


on the Missionaries and make them ridiculous in the 
eyes of the Chinese ; if honest, their sad plight, and the 
low social status to which they have fallen, make their 
better situated countrymen hesitate to join the same 
congregation. The Chinese authorities are continually 
complaining that every Mission-house becomes a veritable 
Alsatia for all the vagrom men and shiftless fellows of the 
neighbourhood. This complaint is exaggerated, no doubt, 
but there is a substratum of truth. In short, Christianity 
in China is not " fashionable " ; it is not even considered 
"respectable," and that is a grave drawback to its success 
with a nation that prizes respectability "face," as it calls 
it above all things. I will not dwell on the actual 
mischief wrought by the excessive zeal, or the narrowness 
of mind, of some few Missionaries ; by the imperfect 
linguistic knowledge of others, leading to absurd and 
irreverent expressions used, by the misplacing of an in- 
tonation, where solemn words were intended ; by the 
insufficient acquaintance of novices with Chinese manners, 
customs and thought ; and, lastly, by the dictatorial inter- 
ference of Missionary Societies and Boards at home totally 
ignorant of Chinese conditions. These faults have caused 
the loss of many lives ; they have brought " the inevitable 
gun-boat " into play, and have caused millions of Chinese 
to look upon Christianity, and Western civilisation, with 
scorn and loathing. 

What, then, is the course to be pursued in order to 
introduce the religion of Peace and Good-will into China 
so that it shall reach all classes and be permanent in its 
effects ? To this end we must send out men as devoted, 
as fearless, as energetic, as those who now labour in 
China, but, if possible, still more highly trained for their 
duties, and, above all, entirely free from bigotry. Let us 
have no men amongst them capable of recording, as the 
Reverend George Leslie MacKay, D.D., a Canadian Scot, 

but he certainly had a capacity for raising knotty points equalled only by 
Bishop Colenso's Zulu, or the late David Friedrich Strauss. 


has done in his interesting book From Far Formosa : 
the Island, its People, and Missions, that in Pe-po-hoan 
villages, on the Kap-tsu-lan Plain, he " more than once " 
dried his rain-soaked clothes "before fires made of idol- 
atrous paper, idols and ancestral tablets." Let such care- 
fully-selected men as I have indicated go out to live 
blameless, charitable, helpful lives amongst the Chinese 
people, carefully observing, in their behaviour, every rule 
of native propriety and etiquette. Let them, besides the 
mute, but telling, example of their good, pure lives, afford 
the Chinese gratuitous instruction ; to the upper classes 
let them teach European languages, and the Occidental 
sciences, to the middle and lower classes the rudiments of 
practical Western knowledge, such as are imparted in 
our elementary schools. Let them minister to the ail- 
ments of all, and inculcate sanitary reforms. Especially 
let them lecture, with magic-lantern views, about distant 
parts of the Chinese Empire the ignorance of the natives 
in this respect is profound ; the majority, although often 
calling their country " the Eighteen Provinces," are unable 
to name more than three or four and about foreign 
lands. Let them teach the farmer and the craftsman 
the use of tools more efficient than their rudimentary 
appliances, unchanged for many centuries. Let them teach 
the Chinese how to make their labour more productive 
and more remunerative ; in the country where every 
third word one hears is Chi' en ("Cash,") that considera- 
tion will carry great weight. Let them lead the Chinese 
to think of the great Outer World, at present a blank 
to them, and tell them under what conditions its inhabi- 
tants live. To do all this they must, of course, become, 
as other Missionaries do, proficient in the language. But, 
above all, let them never utter a word about Religion 
unless they be asked ; let them never allow a word to 
escape them deriding the creeds of the Chinese, the cult 
of their Sage, Confucius, the system of their family life 
far more sacred to them than any religious tenets nor 


the worship of their ancestors. The two last the family 
system and the ancestral cult form the keystone of the 
Chinese social fabric. Who shakes them, makes China 
totter to her very foundations ; who shatters them, brings 
down the whole edifice of four thousand years and 
buries three hundred millions of human beings under its 

But, it will be objected, how will the labours of these 
purely "Secular" Missionaries effect the spiritual regener- 
ation of the Chinese race ? When the Chinese begin to 
realise the advantages of Occidental civilisation in its 
material aspects, their sharp minds will soon begin to 
enquire into the conditions of government under which 
this civilisation has reached its actual development, and 
they will strive for a purer administration and more even- 
handed justice in their own Empire. These once obtained, 
they will further enquire into the moral system that 
governs life in civilised nations, the spirit that animates 
their social institutions and the phenomena we have wit- 
nessed in Japan will be repeated in China. Ever since 
the Great Change in 1868, the Japanese have been adapt- 
ing to their requirements, with miraculous energy and 
skill, the best fruits of the material civilisation of the 
Occident. To its animating spirit, Christianity, they have 
remained, practically, impervious. For thirty years of 
feverish activit) r , they have answered the Missionaries' 
urgent plea in these words : " We are too busy just now 
to think about religion. We have so many, and such 
difficult, things to learn ; all about steam, electricity, and 
chemistry; all about medicine and surgery, and mining, 
and railways, and ship-building, and finance ; all about 
constitutional law, and parliamentary government, and 
political economy. All that it took you several centuries 
to build up, we have to learn, and adapt to our wants 
and our means, in thirty short years. When we have ac- 
quired all these things, and we know how to use them, 
then we will think of religion. We are now in the 


position of starving men, hungering for the bread of 
science, thirsting for the water of practical knowledge. 
When we have eaten and drunk our fill, then we will 
willingly investigate this religion you recommend to 

And now that the Japanese have satisfied the cravings 
of their hunger for science, now that they have slaked 
their thirst for practical knowledge, their wisest minds are 
beginning to enquire into less earthly matters. Week after 
week, month after month, they discuss, in the reviews 
and magazines that abound in New Japan, the question of 
the adoption of Christianity by their countrymen, gravely 
weighing the arguments for and against it ; and they dis- 
cuss the subject calmly, with a sobriety of expression too 
often wanting in the religious polemics of the Occident. 
For the present, the question remains undecided, but signs 
are not wanting that, before another generation has grown 
to maturity, a large proportion of the Japanese race will 
profess Christianity. I fancy I hear the Reader's query, 
uttered with an anticipatory flutter of hope, as to what 
particular form of Christianity the Japanese will adopt. 
Not yours, dear Reader, whatever sect, or denomination, 
you may belong to. That is quite certain. The Japanese 
will never enter the fold of a religion whose Pontiff is 
enthroned in Rome they shed torrents of Japanese blood, 
in the seventeenth century, to assert that fact. Bishop 
Nikolai, admirable Missionary though he be, will never 
in spite of his grand Byzantine Cathedral, dominating 
Tokio from the height of the bluff of Surugadai never 
induce the majority of the Japanese to adopt a creed 
whose Supreme Head on Earth is the Tsar, and whose 
Prophet is Gospodin Pobedonostzeff, Procurator of the Holy 
Synod. Nor will the Japanese enter into union with, or 
affiliation to, a Church whose Chief Primate's See is at 
Canterbury ; nor will they join, en masse, any of the de- 
nominations of which the caustic Frenchman said we had 
a hundred, as against but one fish-sauce. No, the Japanese 


will not import their religion ready made. They did so, 
it is true, in the case of Buddhism, in the sixth century, 
but they soon managed to add native features to the im- 
ported creed, to twist it and turn it to suit their national 
idiosyncrasies, till it bore but slight resemblance to its 
former self. Even in the state in which Buddhism reached 
them from Korea, its Indian founders would not have 
recognised their beautiful faith, for it had passed through 
five centuries of Cathay, and that extraordinary Chinese 
race had left its indelible impress upon it, as upon 
so many other systems and civilisations that had come 
into contact with it, only to be recast in a Chinese 

The Japanese will, in time, profess Christianity, but it 
will be Christianity of a Japanese pattern. The same 
series of phenomena will culminate, in China, in a similar 
result. The Chinese, too, will first acquire and adapt the 
material civilisation of the West, and will then, at their 
leisure, enquire into the spirit that animates the Occident. 
A topsy-turvy mode of proceeding ? Perhaps so, but we 
must bear in mind that, in the Far East, the roof is built 
before the house it is to cover. 

It must always be remembered, in considering the 
future of China, that, although they grumble at times as 
heartily as any Britons at the hardships they endure and 
at the delinquencies of the administration, its people 
are, on the whole, satisfied with their lot. There is 
in them none of that general, savage, sullen discontent 
that filled the masses in France in the last years of 
the eighteenth century, and found vent in the "red fool 
fury of the Seine," in 1793 ; nor are the occasional 
outbreaks of the normally law-abiding, placid Celestials 
directed against the form of government under which they 
suffer, but against some particular official, or gang of 
officials, whose extortion and injustice have gone beyond 
the limits, wide as they are, of Chinese endurance. Peti- 
tions and Memorials innumerable have been sent up to 


the Dragon Throne, and the Son of Heaven has ordered 
strict enquiry. But the inculpated officials have set in 
motion some of the intricate wheels within wheels that 
revolve in the Forbidden Precincts, and the extortion and 
cruelty continue unchecked. At last the people, after try- 
ing the silent protest of a strike, rise in open revolt, drive 
the offenders from their offices, and, sometimes, put them 
to death with torments so cruel that they equal some of 
the acts that caused the rebellion. As related by Pro- 
fessor Douglas in his Society in China, in a revolt that 
took place in the Shanghai district, in 1852, the mob 
invaded the Yam$n of an unjust and extortionate Man- 
darin, and, having captured him, did not kill him, but 
merely bit off his ears, every man in the crowd " having 
a bite," so as to divide the responsibility equally amongst 
them all, and to prevent the indictment of any particular 
rioter. If the rising threaten to become serious, over- 
whelming forces are ultimately sent to suppress it in the 
slow, but sure, way the Chinese authorities have of dis- 
couraging rebellion. The chastisement of the ringleaders 
and their families is simply appalling in its calculated 
ferocity, but, once order is restored, and "peace" reigns 
over smoking ruins strewn with corpses, a comparatively 
mild and just official is, usually, placed in authority over 
the district. In most cases, this wise appointment is made 
before the rising attains to grave dimensions. If so, the 
easily-governed people soon subside into their every-day 
life of patient toil, and love the just magistrate, literally 
"like old boots," for, on his being, eventually, transferred 
to another district, they beg for a pair of his cast-oft 
official boots and hang them up, with a suitable inscrip- 
tion, in the archway of the gate through which he left 
the town. But, stubbornly rebellious or easily pacified, 
the people ascribe the defects in the administration to the 
misdeeds of individual officials, not to the rotten system 
that allows abuses to prevail. The system is old, very 
old, and Chinese, very Chinese, hence it must, in their 

" CHINA - FASHION." 229 

opinion, be a good and wise system, infinitely superior, in 
principle, to anything devised by the brains of foreign 

The Occidental may exhaust his argumentative powers 
in the attempt to persuade the Chinese to reproduce, in 
the native quarters of Shanghai, some semblance of the 
admirable sanitary precautions, the municipal order and 
cleanliness, the innumerab^ evidences of Occidental ideas 
of security and comfort, that characterise the Foreign 
Settlements in that city the Chinese, who has these 
advantages daily before his eyes, remains unmoved. To 
every suggestion of reform he opposes the absolute non 
possumus : " No belong China-fashion ! " This " China- 
fashion " holds the nation enthralled, from the Emperor to 
the "coolie." Even when the enlightened, travelled Chinese 
diplomatist, naval or military officer trained abroad, 
technical student, barrister-at-law of an English Inn ot 
Court, graduate of an Occidental University, or wealthy 
merchant returns to Far Cathay he has not been a day 
on his native soil before he is made to conform, humbly 
and reverently, to the ways he has learned to regard as 
antiquated and absurd. He may think so, to his heart's 
content, but unless he be a mighty personage indeed 
wee to him if he venture to express such subversive 
opinions, or to translate them into acts. The very fact 
of his residence abroad makes him an object of suspicion 
on his return, and relegates him, if an official, to minor 
posts, where his knowledge may be utilised without the 
fear of his gaining dangerous power. If he belong to 
the humbler ranks of the population, if he be a small 
trader, an artisan, a seaman, or a labourer, returned, with 
a small capital earned, by incessant industry, under a 
foreign flag, he resumes the native mode of living with- 
out an effort, just as if he had not helped to build 
railways, or to clean steam-engines, as if he had never 
travelled in a railway train, nor in an electric tramcar 
the contrivance he has so aptly described as : " No pushee, 


no pullee ; go like Hellee ! " A sponge passes over his 
memory of all these things as he steps once more on 
the soil of the Middle Kingdom. Great is "China- 
fashion," and to it every Chinese must bow ! And he 
bows to it, as a rule, willingly, for is it not the good old 
fashion that has been kept up for untold generations in 
his family, the fashion of his forefathers ? 

There we have, in two words, the essence of Chinese 
life, the guiding lines of Chinese patriarchal government, 
the foundations of Chinese society Family and Ancestors. 
The former term really includes the latter, for, through- 
out the Far East, the ancestors form part and parcel of 
the actual family, just as if they were still living. Not 
only the poor, but the dead are always with the living in 
the lands of Eastern Asia. In fact, the idea of a parent 
being dead, in our sense of the word, does not occur to 
the Far Eastern mind. He, or she, has "passed away," 
has "become a Buddha" (the very words "dead," 
" death," " to die," are avoided in speaking of the de- 
ceased,) but the spirit remains with the children, to watch 
over them and note their actions. The spirits of the 
ancestors attach themselves to the tablets, bearing their 
posthumous names, that are placed on the family altars, 
or that hang, in the case of the wealthy, in what are 
really " ancestral halls." They see and hear all that goes 
on amongst their descendants, whose rule of conduct 
through life is summed up in the ideas : to do nothing 
that would displease the ancestral spirits, to do everything 
likely to afford them satisfaction. To bring shame upon 
the family, that is, not only among its living members, 
but upon all their predecessors from the beginning of 
human existence, is the one thing every Far Eastern 
child is taught must be avoided through life ; to add to 
their glory is the one thing to be striven for. Thus, a 
Chinese who has deserved well of the State has no livelier 
satisfaction than when he reads in the Peking Gazette 
that His Imperial Majesty has been graciously pleased to 


reward his services by the bestowal of an honorific title 
on his grandfather, who passed away thirty years ago, or, 
perchance, on an ancestor much more remote. . In every 
act of his life, the Chinese, the average Japanese, or the 
Korean, has ever present to his mind the thought of his 
forefathers. He lives surrounded, as it were, by a crowd 
of ghostly relatives, eagerly scanning his every action. 
With the Japanese, racial instincts cause the feeling to 
predominate that prompts them to add fresh lustre to the 
ancestral roll of honour by valiant deeds in war, or by 
acquiring civic fame in times of peace. With the Chinese, 
entirely lacking in martial ardour, and with poorly developed 
public spirit, the whole duty of man towards his ances- 
tors has gradually narrowed down, in the vast majority of 
cases, to a slavish adherence to the ways that commended 
themselves to his forefathers, and an intense dread of 
offending them by any departure therefrom. They are 
here still, to his mind's eye, all around him, and he dare 
not ignore them if he would. The population of China 
is roughly estimated, on the best data available the 
Government Census returns are not to be implicitly 
trusted at about three hundred and fifty millions. 
This is misleading. There are milliards of Chinese, 
for we must count with the living all their ever-present 

What is the prospect in view for the regeneration ot 
the seething mass of pig-tailed humanity ? How is the still 
small voice, crying for reform, to reach ears that will not 
hear ? What chance have the handful of really enlightened, 
patriotic Chinese against the hordes of their narrow-minded 
compatriots, backed by the ghostly influence of the milliards 
of Chinese of past ages ? Are the present three hundred 
and fifty millions for the most part good people, indus- 
trious beyond comparison, thrifty to a superlative degree, 
of unequalled patience, and wonderfully cheerful, dutiful 
in their domestic relations, peaceful, intelligent, fond of 
learning to continue to live in their actual condition, 


to the vast majority of them a strenuous daily struggle to 
keep body and soul together ? Are they, the heirs to the 
most ancient civilisation in the world, to remain a prey 
to rapacity and revolting cruelty, because their civilisa- 
tion, through its very antiquity, is mortifying in a living 
death ? 

Surely, the present condition of China cannot endure 
much longer. Something must happen to save the 
wonderful nation from its doom. That something will 
come either as a violent shock from the outside, or, it is 
to be hoped, as the result of more humane influences 
working by the power of reason. If salvation come to 
China by the violent means, it will be the work of some 
Power that, knowing the Chinese thoroughly, will break 
down their stiff-necked pride as it has never been humiliated 
in modern times. The invaders, whoever they may be, 
will capture the Emperor within the Forbidden Precincts, 
and will let his people see him led, a prisoner, in theii 
triumphal march through the streets of Peking. They 
will remain at Peking and will rule, gradually, over the 
whole land, either directly, or, more probably, through a 
Puppet-Emperor, either a Manchu, or a descendant of the 
Mings for choice. And they will rule with a rod of iron, 
humbling Chinese pride at every turn, trampling ruthlessly 
on every vestige of the old system, replacing it by the 
new ; educating, drilling, surveying, mining, making China 
a rich country and the Chinese real men, for the first 
time these many years. But much blood will be spilt 
in the process, for the vampires who are draining China's 
life-blood will not willingly abandon their prey, and, being 
Mandarins, they will know how to raise the people in 
fierce, if futile, insurrections. But the end would be 
Peace, and the Chinese would be saved in spite of them- 

The task I have foreshadowed may seem one beyond 
the strength of any single Power. Yet one nation, admir- 
ably equipped for the gigantic work, dreams of undertaking 


it, and the dreams of Russia have a tendency, unpleasant 
for some States, to become accomplished facts. 

What is the alternative course for the fulfilment of 
China's regeneration ? It lies in the conversion of a 
number of her most capable and honest dignitaries to 
ideas of reform. Let these men, few in number as they 
may be, but realise the absolute necessity for a radical 
change in the system which threatens to ruin their mag- 
nificent heritage, and be assured of sound guidance and 
strong support, by force of arms, if necessary, in their 
efforts, and they will' undertake, and carry out, the salva- 
tion of China by the Chinese. They will repeat in the 
Middle Kingdom the process that has created New Japan, 
not with the same miraculous rapidity, nor, perhaps, 
with the same artistic finish ; the Chinese lack many of 
the qualities that enabled the Japanese to effect their 
marvellous transformation, but they have compensating 
characteristics of sterling worth for the task at hand. 
What nation is so pre-eminently fitted to influence the 
Chinese towards reform, to assist them to regenerate their 
country, to guide them by the light of her own experience, 
as the Japanese ? Cognate in race, they understand the 
Chinese nature far better than any Occidental can hope to 
do. Able to communicate with the Chinese by means ot 
a common written language, versed in a common classical 
literature, imbued with similar philosophical ideas, the 
Japanese are in a position to educate the Chinese into 
reform in a quarter of the time any Occidental Power, or 
combination of Powers, would require for the same purpose. 
Signs are not wanting that the Japanese are willing, and 
ready, to undertake the beneficent task, but it is hardly 
to be expected that they should do so without support of 
the strongest kind from a Power, or Powers, guaranteeing 
them, and their pupils, from interference by the armed 
forces, or the scheming diplomacy, of the nation that 
would see its prey escaping from its clutches. Britain 
and America would profit most by a peaceful regeneration 


of China through Japanese influence. To them would fall 
the duty of supporting the reformers with their whole 
might. Let the English-speaking peoples realise the facts, 
and we may live to see the greatest work of reform ever 
undertaken the Men of New Japan regenerating the 
people of Old China. 



IT may safely be assumed that a glance at the heading of 
this Chapter will evolve, in the minds of nine out of ten 
of those who read it, a picture of a charming little person 
with elaborately-dressed black hair, her slender form clothed 
in a sheath of delicately-tinted silk, and her waist encircled 
by a broad, stiff sash, also of silk, of a contrasting, but 
harmonious, colour, tied at the back in a huge bow. 
When an average Occidental thinks of the Far Eastern 
woman, it is the woman of Japan that appears to the 
mental vision, her sisters of China and of Korea being, to 
Western minds, vaguely - known entities, dim, shadowy 
forms, filling no frames in the mind's picture-gallery of 
national female types. The Japanese woman, on the con- 
trary, seems a familiar friend, so frequently has the Western 
mind come in contact with her in the literature of fact, and 
in that of fiction ; so often has the eye dwelt on her coun- 
terfeit presentment. Tiny as she is, she looms larger in 
the Occidental conception of Eastern Asia than the 
Japanese male. And there are strong reasons for this 
preponderance of the Eternal Feminine in our thoughts 
about Japan. The traveller just returned from that delect- 
able land expatiates in glowing terms of praise on the 
lovely landscapes whereon he has feasted his eyes, on the 
stately trees and the exquisite flowers, the marvels 01 
ancient temples, the treasures of delicate art, the soft, 
winning manners of the people, their quaint customs, the 


marvellous results of their energy and their intelligence, 
and on the ridiculously small sums for which he, the 
specially-favoured one, has acquired masterpieces of their 
taste and skill. 

He pauses, at last, and you interject, enquiringly : 
" And the women ? " " Ah 1 the women ..." and, 
if the traveller was enthusiastic before, he now becomes 
absolutely ecstatic. Surely, those must be charmers indeed 
who could thus bewitch the stolid Anglo-Saxon 1 It is 
quite certain that the daughters of no other land he has 
visited in his wide travels have ever claimed such a large 
share of his attention. He has acquired a fund of interest- 
ing information, varied and peculiar, about the manners 
and customs of Japanese women ; he even displays a 
perfectly surprising acquaintance with the details of their 
costume, although, in matters of the Occidental feminine 
wardrobe, he may be incapable, and pardonably so, of dis- 
tinguishing a hat from a bonnet, and either from a toque, 
and cannot tell a dolman from a jacket. O Hana San, it 
seems, taught him how to use the eating-sticks, O Kiku 
San, the bright-eyed Gei-sha, instructed him in many quaint 
games of forfeits, O Yuki San danced before him, O Take 
San, another pretty Gei-sha, sang to him, accompanying 
herself on the samisen, the three-stringed banjo, struck 
deftly with a bachi, or "plectrum," and O Kin San made 
for him a variety of astonishing little figures of birds and 
beasts, and men, and flowers, all made out of flimsy 
paper with a twist or two of her exquisite little taper 
fingers. He has got the little paper toys now; he will 
show them to you, and also his collection of portraits. 
He has brought home excellent photographs of all these 
" august Misses " whose names he has just so glibly 
recited. Here is demure little "august Miss Blossom," 
the dear little waitress, his instructress in the art of eating 
with " chop-sticks " ; here "august Miss Chrysanthemum," 
the Gei-sha with the lustrous eyes, looking, in the photo- 
graph, as dignified and sedate as if ken, and other rollicking 


games of forfeits, were frivolities far beneath her notice. 
Here is a picture of " Her Augustness Miss Snow," 
"taken," instantaneously, in the very act of dancing. 
Here is, actually, her little dancing-fan, red, with bright 
flowers painted on it, and the point of junction of the 
ribs weighted with lead, so that she may the more easily 
balance it and poise it in the posturing which constitutes 
her dance a precious treasure this, a souvenir of a fairy- 
like entertainment at the Koyo-kwan, the Maple Club, in 
the beautifully-wooded Park of Shiba, at Tokio, the Club 
at which the "smart set" of Japanese society entertain 
those Occidentals whom they would honour. Now he 
will show you the portrait, signed by her, of that other 
Gei-sha, "august Miss Bamboo," sitting on her little 
heels, playing the samisen, just as she sat when she sang 
to him, and the photograph of skilful little "august Miss 
Gold," the artistic manipulator of bits of paper. 

And well, that picture was taken out of the drawer 
with the others, but was evidently not intended for 
exhibition, as it is hastily pushed back under a pile of 
others "such a heap of them, you know, could go on 
showing them to you till to-morrow morning" but not 
before you have caught a furtive glimpse of a jin-riki-sha 
" made for two," and drawn by two sturdy runners the 
" man-power carriage " to seat two, ni-nin-nori-no kuruma, 
and drawn by a "pair," ni-nim-biki, is the exception 
and, on the seat of the baby-carriage, your travelled 
friend himself, looking absurdly overgrown, but radiant, 
and by his side, a perfectly delicious little " august Miss 
Somebody," like an exquisitely-finished doll, with beau- 
tifully smooth hair in artistic convolutions, and a light- 
coloured summer kimono, with an obi a foot wide round 
her little body, a dainty paper parasol in one baby-hand, 
and a small fan in the other. Happy traveller ! Why 
conceal this pictorial record of cordial relations established 
with the nation predestined to be Britain's ally in the 
Far East ? Well, our traveller happens to be a Vice- 


President of a Young Men's Mutual Improvement Society 
in his district, and Honorary Secretary of the local 
Association for the Enforcement of Compulsory Virtue, 
and some people are so apt to misunderstand. 

You have listened to the traveller's talk, you have 
admired the photographs in his collection, and you feel 
that you are in the presence of an authority who has added 
much to your knowledge regarding the women of Japan. 
Not that it required much extension, you think, for the 
Occident in general rather prides itself on the amount 
of information it possesses on the subject. It has read, 
over and over again, and accepted as a true representa- 
tion of the whole womankind of Japan, the beautiful 
word-pictures in " Pierre Loti' "s Madame Chrysantheme ; 
it has also read, with delight, the poetic prose of Sir 
Edwin Arnold, likewise his graceful verse, and wondered 
how much to ascribe to the poet's inspired enthusiasm, 
how much to the traveller's keen gift of observation. 

And now Sir Edwin has solved the doubt by giving 
the best possible proof that his paeans in honour of 
Japanese women were sincere ; Lady Arnold, the first 
daughter of Dai-Nippon to bear the British Dame's 
prefix of "Lady, "is a living example of the qualities, 
the grace and the charm the poet has sung. If ever a 
poet's marriage was blest by a sense of fitness, it was 
when Miss "Jewel" (Tama) Kurokawa "the august 
Miss Jewel," how prettily the Japanese name their 
daughters 1 became Lady Arnold. The Occident in 
general has read little, or nothing, about the women 
of Japan beyond what is contained in the works of 
" Loti " and of Arnold, and in the bright pages devoted 
to them in Henry Norman's The Real Japan a book 
which is a marvel of keen and rapid observation, pic- 
turesque description, and unprejudiced opinion, with 
hardly any inaccuracies to make it fall short of perfec- 
tion, when it is considered that it is the outcome of a 
short sojourn amongst the Japanese. The author's trained 


journalistic eyes and ears made excellent use of that brief 
period, and his " Studies of Contemporary Japanese Manners, 
Morals, Administration, and Politics " well deserve the title 
under which they appeared, for they represent The Real 
Japan as the "Travelling Commissioner" of the Pall Mali 
Gazette saw it. Those Occidentals who take a special 
interest in Japanese matters have, of course, read what 
that Past Master in Japan - lore, Professor Basil Hall 
Chamberlain, has written, under the heading " Woman," 
in his terse, crisp " Notes " on all Things Japanese, 
forming a handy encyclopaedia for the enquirer, at times 
rather caustic in its appreciations, for, if the learned 
author has "set naught down in malice," neither has 
he "aught extenuated." I need hardly refer to The 
Mikado's Empire, by the Reverend W. E. Griffis, to 
Professor Morse's Japanese Homes, nor to A. B. Mit- 
ford's delightful Tales of Old Japan; they are classics, 
as indispensable to those who would understand Japan 
aright as is Professor William Anderson's monumental 
work, The Pictorial Arts of Japan, to the collector, 
or the student, of Japanese art. In all of these works 
passages are to be found in Mitford's, for instance, many 
pages throwing much light on the position of women 
in old Japan and the Japan of the transition-period in 
the years following closely on the Great Change, but 
they cannot, owing to the dates of their publication, 
give us any account of the Japanese woman as the end 
of the nineteenth century finds her, after the influence of 
Occidental ideas has been at work for thirty years. 

Two men, an Occidental and a Japanese, have striven 
to enlighten the English-reading world on the subject 
of the Japanese woman of the 'nineties, the Occidental by 
showing us the inner workings of her heart and mind ; 
the Japanese by depicting the conditions of family life 
amongst his compatriots. No two men could have been 
found better fitted for their task, for there is certainly 
no Occidental who has so thoroughly explored the 


recesses of the mysterious Japanese heart as that sym- 
pathetic " artist in words " Lafcadio Hearn, Lecturer 
on English Literature in the Imperial University of Japan 
every line of his numerous writings should be read, 
and read attentively, by those who would know what 
the Japanese think and how the Japanese feel and no 
Japanese has ever given us a more lucid account oi 
"The Family Relations in Japan" than my friend GOH 
Daigoro,* in his valuable Paper under that title, pub- 
lished in Vol. II. of the Transactions and Proceedings of 
the Japan Society, London. Another Japanese, Dr. HATA 
Riotaro, Secretary of the Imperial Japanese Legation 
in Vienna, has enabled those who read German to 
obtain an insight into the views of Japanese men on 
the much-debated question of the position of women, 
not only in his own country, but throughout the world, 
by publishing, in Vienna, in 1896, Geddnken eines Ja- 
paners uber die Frauen, insbesondere die Japanischen, 
a translation, by himself, amplified and annotated, of 
his book " On the Women of Japan," written in his 
own language, that appeared in Tokio, in 1890. But 
absolutely the best book on the subject is due, as is 
only natural, to a woman's pen. A clever American 
lady, Miss Alice Mabel Bacon, making good use of un- 
usual opportunities, has given us, in her Japanese Girls 
and Women, not only a delightful book, but a true 
picture of the Japanese female character, and a store- 
house of information about the life of the daughters 
of Japan of all classes. Could I be certain that Japanese 
Girls and Women was a work easily obtainable by all 
those who read these pages, the remainder of this Chap- 
ter would consist of the one line : Read Miss Bacon's 
book ! 

As it is, the Occidental public has, undoubtedly, 

* Late Japanese Consul at Bombay, and, in 1892-4, Chancellor of the 
Imperial Japanese Consulate in London, and Hon. Secretary of the Japan 


derived the most lasting impression regarding the fair 
sex in Japan from " Pierre Loti' "s Madame Chrysantheme, 
and more is the pity ! The fascinating pages of Com- 
mander Julien Viaud's work to give the French Acade- 
mician his right name do, indeed, represent, with that 
picturesque local colouring of which he is a master, a 
phase of Japanese female life but only one phase. The 
book should bear on its title-page a warning somewhat in 
these words : " This is the story of a French Naval 
Officer's liaison with a Japanese girl of the lower class 
and of easy virtue. It must not be taken as purporting 
to describe, in any way, the average Japanese woman, 
high-born or in humble life." Of the average woman 
of Japan, the brilliant French writer had no experience, 
engrossed as he was, during his stay at Nagasaki, in his 
close study of the fascinating little butterfly whom he 
has painted so deftly that she has been accepted by 
many thousands of Occidentals as a type of all Japanese 
woman-kind. Fair, but frail, charming and graceful, 
but empty-headed, affectionate, but fickle, caressing, but 
mercenary, pretty, unchaste little O Kiku San " the 
august Miss," not Madame, " Chrysanthemum " has, un- 
wittingly, done grievous harm, throughout the world, to 
the fair fame of her countrywomen. How could she 
know, poor little feather-brain, that the French Naval 
Officer was making a dispassionate study of her little 
ways, and as much of her little heart as he, the man 
from a different world, could understand, with the de- 
liberate intention to put down his observations in cold 
black on white, with the daily regularity of a ship's log, 
in order that many thousands of the Guwai-jin, the Foreign 
People, should read them, and say "how charming, but, 
then, how sad" ! That is, without doubt, the feeling 
with which most readers have laid down " Loti' "s famous 
book, an impression of subtle charm and a deep pity 
for a nation whose women can be at once so sweet and 
so frail. But those who read attentively will have noticed 


that the author disclaims, in at least one passage, any 
knowledge of Japanese ladies. He speaks of meeting 
two of them, a mother and her daughter, at a photo- 
grapher's in the outskirts of Nagasaki, where they had 
just been "taken" amidst the incongruous Louis Quinze 
furniture of the "studio," much the same all over the 
world, from Nagasaki to the Old Kent Road. He acknow- 
ledges their "incontestable distinction," and notes that 
they look poor little Chrysanthemum "up and down" 
with evident contempt, although, as he is careful to state, 
her dress was every bit as " comme il faut" as their 
own. And he adds that they exercised a strange fascina- 
tion over him, these " ladies of quality," with their long, 
narrow, oval faces the aristocratic type of Japan and 
that he could not take his eyes off them. They capti- 
vated him, he writes, " as things unseen before and incom- 
prehensible." Truly " incomprehensible " to one who knew 
only O Kiku San the cousin of jin-riki-sha runner 
No. 415, cabman and cab-horse in one and her com- 
panions ; " incomprehensible," indeed to one who could 
so recklessly brand a whole nation with the cruel and 
untrue taunt that the word " honnttett" not in its primary 
signification of " honesty," but in the sense of " modesty," 
" virtue," " has no meaning in Japan " ! 

One wishes that " Pierre Loti " had enjoyed the 
privilege of the acquaintance of a Japanese lady, or, at 
least, of one of the vast multitude of Japanese women 
and girls of the middle and working classes who are 
as " honnttes " as the great majority of his own charming 
countrywomen. What a picture his masterly hand would 
have drawn for us, not as in his book of the grisetle 
of Japan, but of the good, virtuous, gentle being whose 
admirable sense of duty makes her the best of daughters, 
the most tender of mothers, an exemplary wife, a loving 
sister in one word, the average woman of Japan ! And 
as the celebrated French author erred, so do seven out 
of ten of the Occidental travellers, and even sojourners, 


in Japan. Coming into close contact chiefly with such 
Japanese women as are condemned by their poverty, 
or by the penury, or the greed, of unscrupulous parents, 
to stray from the path of virtue, as strictly defined 
amongst decent people in the Far East as in the West, 
these Occidentals assume that the "morality" of the 
woman tempted by their money is the morality of all 
Japan. With as much justice might a Japanese returning 
from abroad publish a narrative of his experiences on 
a midnight walk along some of our London thorough- 
fares, say from Piccadilly Circus along Regent Street, of 
an evening spent at the Casino de Paris, or the Folies- 
Bergere, or of a night devoted to going the rounds 
of the hells of the wicked city of Chicago, and inform 
his compatriots that, as they might infer from his de- 
scriptions, "virtue had no meaning" amongst the women 
of the Occident. It is greatly to the credit of Japanese 
travellers that, whilst many of them have had but few 
opportunities, if any, of becoming acquainted with Occi- 
dental ladies, whilst they have had before their eyes 
glaring evidence of the terrible depravity common in all 
our great cities, not one of them has written a book 
containing sweeping assertions as to the absolute lack of 
virtue amongst the women of the white race. Their 
common-sense taught them not to generalise from isolated 
instances, or from one particular class, a truism that 
seems to be entirely overlooked by the Occidental de- 
tractors of Japanese female virtue. 

There have been, however, a few amusing instances 
of Japanese travellers, with insufficient preliminary know- 
ledge, drawing hasty conclusions from the manners and 
customs of one particular class, or locality, although it has 
never led them into such mischievous allegations of 
national immorality as those I have been discussing. One 
of these instances may be quoted from my Paper on 
"Some Difficulties encountered by beginners in the study 
of the Japanese Spoken Language," read before the Japan 


Society on i2th June, 1895, and published in Vol. III. of 
its Transactions and Proceedings. In order to impress 
on the beginner the importance of avoiding the, fatally 
easy, picking-up of "Yokohama P/d/w- Japanese " words 
and idioms, so distressing to the ears of the educated 
Japanese, to whom the corruption of their beautiful mother- 
tongue appears a sacrilege, and who resent it accordingly, 
I stated an analogous hypothetical case. Although it 
might have seemed far-fetched, and even farcical, I ven- 
tured to submit it, not at all for the purpose of raising 
a smile, but well knowing the value of an exaggerated 
example in fixing a rule in the student's mind. Let us 
suppose, I said, that a Japanese seaman has recently 
returned to Nagasaki from a voyage to London, which 
metropolis he has explored on both sides of the East 
India Dock Road and as far westwards as Cable Street, 
St. George' s-in-the-East, perhaps even as far as the 
Minories. What would be the feelings of an English 
gentleman hearing this hardy mariner explain to his 
friends that English is a remarkably simple language, 
very easy to pick up, consisting chiefly of a forcible, 
tnough apparently meaningless, adjective ? Imagine him 
adding : " There are a few difficulties in English, to be 
sure, such as the double negative, in one case even a 
treble one 'there ain't no nothink.' A policeman is 
spoken of behind his back as 'the bloomin' copper' and 
to his face as ' Mr. Orficer.' Male and female of the 
superior classes are addressed as 'Guv'nor' and 'Lydy,' 
respectively ; the greeting among friends is ' Wot che'r ? ' 
or ' Cheero ! ' the intimation of assent is ' Yus,' of dissent 
it is ' Gar'n.' Surprise is expressed by ' Strike me pink ! ' 
and, if tinged with disgust, by ' Blimy ! ' ' 

This may seem ridiculous, outre, but it is not a 
whit worse than what is perpetrated daily by scores of 
highly respectable foreigners in Japan, who fondly imagine 
they are talking correct Japanese. The words and idioms 
I have put into the mouth of the supposititious mariner 


give a very fair sample of the sort of English picked 
up in and around the Docks, in 1877-8, by a sturdy 
Satsuma sailor of my acquaintance, and used by him in 
blissful ignorance of its quality. He was mate of the 
S.S. Niigata Maru, the first vessel flying the Japanese 
flag that entered the Port of London, a merchant steam- 
ship owned by the Mitsu Bishi Company, now the great 
and prosperous Nippon Yu-sen Kuwai-sha, the " Japanese 
Mail Steamship Company." The worthy Mate's acquaint- 
ance with London was confined, practically, within the 
boundaries I have indicated, but this did not prevent 
him from sending to a leading Tokio newspaper, the 
Nichi Nichi Shim-bun (" Daily News,") a series of most 
interesting letters on "Life in London," in one of which 
he commented rather severely on the want of refine- 
ment of the "ladies of the metropolis," who "com- 
monly eat fruit as they walk along the streets, and 
frequently take their meals of shell-fish, fried fish, 
stewed eels, or potatoes, at perambulating food-stalls in 
the open air." 

Many of the statements made by superficial Occi- 
dental observers with regard to the women of Japan 
rest on researches as limited in their scope as those of 
the Mate of the Niigata Maru amongst the " lydies " of 
Ratcliffe Highway. There is considerable excuse to be 
made for the error into which the investigators from both 
hemispheres have fallen. The Japanese sailor ascribed 
the free-and-easy demeanour, the raucous voices, the 
anything but refined appearance of those whom he took 
for representative English ladies entirely to racial 
differences. Had they been Japanese women, even of 
the lowest class, he would have been inexpressibly 
shocked by their conduct and their general coarseness. 
But they were English, and, the canons of good manners 
and of good taste being so widely divergent in England 
and in Japan, for all he knew to the contrary, Sal 
from Tiger Bay and Poll of Limehouse might be behaving 


in accordance with the highest social " good form " of the 

Conversely, how can the average Occidental Globe- 
trotter, especially the Briton, be expected to believe that 
the gentle little woman, with hands like those of a 
duchess and a low, sweet voice, with exquisite manners 
and a quaint, solemn kind of dignity in her courteous 
obeisances, a curious refinement in the graceful motions 
of her hands and arms, and delicate, quiet taste displayed 
in every item of her admirably becoming costume, is, 
socially, on a par with brazen 'Liza of the New Cut, in 
her tawdry finery, her ill-made clothing of startling 
aniline hues, her monstrous hat bedecked with hired 
ostrich plumes poor 'Liza with her coarse, red hands 
and her hoarse voice, her manners of the gutter and her 
wit of the gin-palace bar ? Small blame attaches to 
him if he really believes the little charmer to belong to, 
at least, the middle class of Japan, and, consequently, 
accepts her moral standard as that of a vast number 
of her countrywomen belonging to what would be called, 
in the West, " respectable " families. Reasoning from 
this erroneous premise, he assumes that those Japanese 
women and girls whom he sees working for their living, 
and, presumably, originally of lower social rank than the 
particular "Madame Chrysantheme " he has been study- 
ing, must be equally frail. Has it not been repeated to 
him, ad nauseam, that these people have no concep- 
tion of virtue, or of modesty ? So he frequently treats 
the maids at the inn, the charming human humming- 
birds who wait upon him at the tea-house, and the 
Gei-sha summoned to entertain him, with a cavalier 
familiarity that would infallibly lead to his summary 
expulsion from any well-regulated hotel or public-house, 
or other place of public entertainment, at home, did he 
dare to show such want of respect to a chamber-maid, 
or to one of the haughty fair ones serving at a bar. 
He means no harm, in nine cases out of ten ; he has 


been told that "Japanese girls don't mind what you 
say to them, and as to the tea-house girls, well, they're 
no better than they should be ! " 

And he has been totally misinformed, for there are 
tea-houses and tea-houses. The ordinary Chaya is a well- 
conducted, orderly, bright, clean establishment, generally 
in a picturesque situation, where light refreshment may be 
obtained at very small cost, where the weary traveller 
may rest, where friends may meet and converse it is the 
Japanese counterpart of the French cafe, the German 
Bierhalle, and the Viennese Kaffeehaus, not of the British 
public-house, nor the American "saloon." But there are 
tea-houses less respectably conducted, frequented by shady 
characters for questionable purposes, just as there are 
certain cafts in Paris to which no Frenchman would take 
his wife, but which the travelling Briton, in the innocence 
of his heart, sometimes patronises with Mrs. Briton and 
their daughters. The Japanese inhabitants know perfectly 
well which tea-houses in the town are respectably con- 
ducted, and which are not. In the former, the attendants 
are good, hard-working, girls smiling sweetly at the 
customers, certainly, but that is second nature in the land 
of smiles and bows ready to greet any little pleasantry 
with silvery laughter, for is it not the "Honourable 
Guest " who has been pleased to crack the " August 
Joke " ? But they are good little women, as capable ol 
guarding their virtue as any in the world, and it saddens 
one to think how often they endure, from a feeling ot 
consideration for the foreigner "who does not know any 
better," they pityingly think, cavalier treatment they 
would not submit to from a Japanese. In the other sort 
of tea-houses it is otherwise. The attendants look for no 
respect, and they get none. 

I have devoted so much space to a defence of the 
character of Japanese women, and especially of the classes 
with which the traveller is most frequently brought into 
contact, because I know, by experience, how wide-spread 


is the Occidental belief in their lack of chastity. There 
are unchaste people, male and female, in Japan about 
as many as in any Occidental country. That is the truth 
of the matter. 

What is the social position, then, of the Japanese 
woman ? Truth compels me to state that it is not com- 
mensurate with her good qualities. And lest it should be 
thought that I am inclined to take too favourable a view 
of those qualities, and of the position to which they entitle 
her, I may as well state, at once, that I am rather well 
qualified to judge impartially in the matter, as I am, of 
all the laymen who have written about the Japanese 
woman, one of the few perhaps the only one whose 
opinion: is not in danger of being warped by sentimental 
considerations. My memory holds no tender reminis- 
cences of sweet dalliance with any fair "august Miss 
Plum " (O Ume San) or " august Miss Spring - time," 
(O Haru San) with O Kiku San, or O Hana San, with 
"Little Miss Violet" (Ko - murasaki San*) or "august 
Miss Harp " (O Koto San). Unknown to me are the 
pangs of parting from a dear little figure, in a soft 
grey kimono and a mauve obi, standing, disconsolate and 
tearful, on the fast receding shore. But of one kind 
of Japanese woman I am, perchance, entitled to speak 
with an amount of personal acquaintance not easily to 
be acquired by Occidentals, for it has been my great good 
fortune to enjoy the friendship of several Japanese ladies, 
who have honoured me with an insight into their pure and 
elevated minds. It is to these true-hearted women, of a 
class with which the Globe-trotter hardly ever, and the 
average foreign resident but seldom, becomes acquainted, 
the dames de qualite so "incomprehensible" to the brilliant 
French impressionist, that I owe what knowledge I possess 
of that honour to humanity the real Lady of Japan. In 

* Literally: "Little Miss Purple." 


many hours of conversation on the topic of the position 
assigned to themselves, and to their sisters in the lower 
social ranks, by law and by custom in Japan, by close 
observation of their conduct towards their husbands and 
their children, I have formed my estimate of the worth 
of the educated, high-bred Japanese woman, and it is a 
high one. Gifted with every domestic virtue, absorbed in 
the manifold duties devolving upon her according to the 
Far Eastern social constitution too much absorbed in 
those duties to realise the Western ideal of a woman 
moving in Society the Japanese woman of our day, her 
mind enlightened by the excellent education a wise 
Government has placed within her reach, has attained an 
intellectual level undreamt of in the days of her mother's 
youth. Fortunately for Japan, the new light that has 
entered into her mind has not caused her to abandon the 
solid principles of duty, filial, conjugal and maternal, 
handed down to her through generations of patient, 
obedient, helpful wives and loving, devoted mothers. And, 
as I have already stated, she does not occupy, as yet, 
the position in the social fabric to which her worth 
entitles her. The average Japanese man seems not to 
be aware of his good fortune and, whilst kind, even 
loving, to his womankind, stoutly denies them a place 
on an equal plane with himself. 

Let it not be thought, even for a moment, that the 
Japanese woman is made unhappy by the superiority arro- 
gated to himself by the Japanese man. She is, as a rule, 
quite content with her place in the social system, and, 
though deeply grateful for the improvement in her legal 
status effected by the new Civil Code, promulgated in 1890, 
it is very doubtful if she would, for a long time to come, 
have agitated for the limited rights it has pleased the 
men of New Japan to confer upon her. To the 
" advanced " section of British womankind, and to the 
great body of the women of America, their Japanese 
sisters must appear poor, spiritless creatures, content to 


occupy an inferior position through life. Whether that 
position is really as lowly as it appears is a moot point. 
In the meantime, let our female champions of " advanced " 
views take heart of grace the women of New Japan are 
moving forward, slowly but surely, towards emancipation, 
not exactly, however, in the direction so dear to the 
aforesaid champions not towards the attainment of poli- 
tical rights. The progressive, emancipatory tendency is 
manifested rather in smaller, social matters. Thus, at a 
dinner-party in purely Japanese style given, in Tokio, 
by an ex-Cabinet Minister, the host's wife helped her 
husband to entertain the guests, the married men were 
accompanied by their wives, and there was actually a 
Japanese spinster present of the ripe age of twenty-six 
a rarity in a country where people marry early. It should 
be noted that the entertainment was in Japanese style, 
so that the invitation of husbands and wives and 01 
the independent spinster was a startling innovation. 
According to the custom of Old Japan, the host would 
have invited his male friends to a "Stag Party," the 
female element indispensable for the gaiety of the feast 
being supplied by Gei-sha, or " Accomplishment- mongers," 
hired professional entertainers ; the hostess would not 
have appeared, but would have invited her female friends 
not necessarily the wives of her husband's guests on 
another occasion. Had the ex-Cabinet Minister's enter- 
tainment been one of those excellent dinners a I'Euro- 
ptenne he and his wife know so well how to give, the 
function would have differed in no respect from a dinner 
in Grosvenor Square, save for the physiognomy of the 
hosts, the guests excepting the sprinkling of Occidentals 
sure to be present and of the servants, and the Japanese 
dress worn by some of, unfortunately not by all, the ladies 
present. From hors d'ceuvre to savouries, the repast, the 
table decorations and the service would have been indis- 
tinguishable from those arranged under the superintendence 
of an experienced Occidental hostess. But the dinner was 


in Japanese style, and there was, thus, no necessity foi 
the introduction of such thoroughly Western and subver- 
sive customs as were implied by the presence of both 
sexes at the same board, or, rather, assemblage of boards, 
for, at a Japanese meal, each person has a separate little 
table, but a few inches high, and on it a tray, laden with 
dainty bowls and saucers of Lilliputian dimensions, so as 
to give the impression that a number of adults have 
relapsed into childhood and are having rare fun at a 
dolls' dinner-party. The mixed assembly at the ex- 
Cabinet Minister's dinner proved most successful, and led 
to imitation by bold social reformers in various quarters. 
The influence of the novel conditions under which the 
"pioneer" mixed dinner was given made itself felt at 
once. A Japanese friend of mine returned from the feast 
in a highly perturbed state ot mind. Stood Japan where 
it did ? Was Fuji's sublime peak still in existence ? Well 
might he ask himself these questions. His experiences at 
the dinner-party had, indeed, been startling. To begin 
with, he had been introduced by the hostess to the afore- 
said spinster a charming lady, certainly, pretty and clad 
in kimono and obi of artistically-assorted colours but the 
idea of being solemnly marched up to a lady, to be 
formally presented to her as she rose from her seat, 
namely, her own heels, tucked under her on the floor, 
and then to be requested to " take her in to dinner " ! 
To a Japanese mind the idea was most incongruous. Had 
the lady been attired in European dress, well and good 
no Japanese would have thought of behaving towards her 
in any but the most correct manner prescribed by Occi- 
dental etiquette, but to treat her so deferentially when 
clothed in the costume of Old Japan that went against 
the grain. This strange difference in the treatment ot 
women according to the clothing they adopt is very 
marked in the relations between husband and wife. The 
same Japanese who, without compunction, strides along 
the street, or enters a room, with his wife meekly trotting 


behind him, at times lets her stand whilst he remains 
seated, and allows her to kneel before him, bending her 
pretty forehead to the mats, in humble salutation when 
he leaves home, or returns to it all this when they are 
both in native garb gives her his ami when walking, 
follows her into a house, or an apartment, and will not 
sit whilst she stands, when both have donned Occidental 

To return to my friend's experiences at the inno- 
vating function : he was placed next to the unattached 
lady. Their trays full of dolls' dinner-service ware a 
fresh tray for each course were set down close to each 
other, and, from the preliminary hors d'ceuvre, the sui- 
mono, or soup, served in lacquered bowls, and the various 
relishes, washed down with sake in tiny cups, through 
the other two courses, each consisting of several dishes, to 
the final rice, conversation flowed freely between him and 
his fair neighbour. So freely, on her part, as fairly 
to bewilder him, for she spoke, and spoke well, on the 
current topics of the day, giving her opinion frankly, 
especially on matters of art ; she was a professional 
artist, a painter, and was executing a commission for 
some panels, painted on silk, for the drawing-room of 
the host's "European-style" house (like many wealthy 
Japanese he had a house built and furnished gene- 
rally in very bad taste after the Occidental fashion, 
communicating with a beautiful Japanese dwelling un- 
furnished in the purest style of Japanese domestic decor- 
ation). My friend was shocked, he could not help 
confessing that he had enjoyed the evening immensely, 
but the lady's want of restraint had jarred upon his 
nerves. Just fancy, a woman who gave her opinion 
unasked, who contravened all rules of decorum by start- 
ing subjects of conversation ! She had evidently for- 
gotten the wise maxims the Japanese apply to women 
as we try to apply them, with but scant success, to 
children in the nursery, that "they should be seen, not 


heard," and that "they should speak when they are 
spoken to." 

When the heaven-born progenitors of the Japanese 
race, Izanagi and Izanami, first stood on the Floating 
Bridge of Heaven, and had created the Islands of Japan 
out of the coagulated foam dripping from the tama-boko, 
the "Jewel-Spear" of Heaven, wherewith they had 
stirred up the primeval ocean of Chaos, spreading beneath 
them "like floating oil," they set up the spear as a 
Central Pillar, and they walked round it separately, the 
Male, Izanagi, turning by the left, the Female, Izanami, 
by the right. When they met, the Female spoke first, 
exclaiming : " How delightful ! I have met with a lovely 
youth ! " Truly, this Japanese Eve was intensely human ; 
her cri du cceur rings fresh and true across the ages that 
separate the Night of the Gods from our days. But her 
outburst displeased her Adam, who said : "I am a man, 
and by right I should have spoken first. How is it that, 
on the contrary, thou, a woman, shouldst have been the 
first to speak ? This was unlucky. Let us go round 
again." And they went round again. When they met, 
this time, the Male spoke first, saying : " How delightful ! 
I have met a lovely maiden" ! Now that the proper 
natural relations of the sexes, according to the ideas of 
Old Japan, had been restored, the courtship of Izanagi and 
Izanami ran its smooth course. Those who would know 
more of the delightfully naive story of the Creation, and 
of the highly interesting exploits of the " August Deities " 
of the Shin-to religion, should read one of the scholarly 
translations, erudite but very readable, of the most ancient 
Japanese works extant : the Kojiki, or " Record of Ancient 
Matters," completed in A.D. 712, translated by Professor 
B. H. Chamberlain, and published in the Supplement to 
Vol. X. of the Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan, 
and the Nihon-gi, or "Chronicles of Japan," completed 
in A.D. 720, rendered into English by W. G. Aston, 
C.M.G., and issued, in two volumes, as Supplement I, 


to the Transactions and Proceedings of the Japan Society. 
The Nihon-gi has also been translated into German, 
with the painstaking thoroughness characteristic of his 
nationality, by Professor Dr. Karl Florenz, of the Imperial 
University of Tokio. 

The origin of the Shin-ts Myth of the Creation is 
shrouded in the mist of prehistoric ages, but Izanagi's re- 
proof to Izanami remains the terse expression of Japanese 
male opinion on the subject of the Eternal Feminine. My 
Japanese friend who took his " advanced " countrywoman 
in to dinner had enjoyed all the advantages of modern 
Japanese education on the Occidental plan ; to him Izanagi 
and Izanami were shadowy figures, to be regarded with 
purely antiquarian interest, yet the idea embodied in their 
first conversation was so deeply rooted in his mind that it 
took him a long time to overcome the feeling of pained 
surprise with which he listened to remarks, clever and to the 
point though they were, offered spontaneously by a Japanese 
lady in her national dress. The culminating shock was given 
to his sense of propriety when the fair painter handed 
him her card, drawn from the beautiful " pocket-book " 
of brocade worn in her obi, and expressed the pleasure it 
would give her if he would call, some afternoon, and discuss 
her pictures over a cup of tea ! And this extreme type of 
the New Woman of Japan represents a class that is grow- 
ing very slowly, it is true, but still growing of women 
who are determined to treat men on an equal footing. It 
is quite certain that they will meet with resolute opposi- 
tion. It is not that the men of New Japan have any 
rooted objection to the intellectual advancement of their 
womankind ; on the contrary, every effort in that direction 
enjoys the patronage of the ladies of the Imperial Family, 
and especially of the Empress who spends a great deal 
of her time in visiting and inspecting educational institu- 
tions for girls and for the training 01 female teachers and 
the active support of the Government. I have had many 
earnest talks on the subject with several of the men who 


direct the thoughts of New Japan, and I found them all 
agreed as to the necessity of educational facilities of the 
highest order for the rising generation of Japanese women, 
facilities already far in advance of anything within the reach 
of the female population of many European countries. One 
and all, the leaders of Japan are in favour of an extension 
of the admirable system of female education a combina- 
tion of adaptations from the best features of the systems 
in vogue in the State Schools of Germany, Scandinavia, 
the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United States of 
America now firmly established in the Island Empire. 
It is when we begin to inquire into the reasons for this 
enthusiasm for female education that we perceive the vast 
difference between the Japanese point of view and our 

The majority of Japanese men desire to see their 
womankind well educated for reasons hardly to be dis- 
tinguished from that given by the St. James's Street 
"Johnnie," who averred that "education of the lower 
orders is a rippin' good thing, don't you know ; at least, 
teachin' them to read, so that when you come home in the 
small hours you can pin a paper on your bedroom door 
tellin' your man not to call you till nine thirty." The 
educated woman will be the better able to perform her 
duties as a daughter-in-law the first consideration as a 
wife, as a mother and a daughter ; therefore let her be 
educated. That is the Japanese reasoning. To be helpful 
is the one object the Japanese woman is taught to strive 
for; helpful to her husband's parents, to her husband, to 
her children, just as she has, in girlhood, been helpful to 
her own parents. And nobly do the women of Japan 
realise what is expected of them, often under most adverse 
conditions. The mother-in-law, so often and, in many 
cases, so unjustly, made the butt of cheap satire in the 
Occident, is a veritable terror in the Far East, but on the 
other side of the family. In Eastern Asia it is not the 
wife's mother who watches over her child's domestic 


happiness with a jealous vigilance popularly supposed to 
entail domiciliary visits hardly to be endured by the 
terrorised husband, but the husband's mother who insists 
on being obeyed by her daughter-in-law, and on seeing 
that her beloved son is made thoroughly comfortable by 
the wife he has brought home, in most cases, to live 
under the paternal roof. So exacting is the old lady, at 
times, so exasperating does her continual "nagging" 
become, especially when enforced, as it sometimes is 
amongst the lower classes, by blows with her metal tobacco- 
pipe, that wives have been known to seek release in death. 
Even in those households where the same dwelling does 
not shelter two or three generations, and the parents of 
husband and wife are only occasional guests, the wife is 
obliged to show the utmost deference to her husband's 
parents, and to all his relatives older than himself. One 
might expect that a long continuance of such subjection to 
the will of others, together with the heavy burden of 
domestic duties, and the engrossing care for, and training 
of, the children, would have crushed all spirit out of the 
Japanese woman and reduced her to a mere household 
drudge. Such is by no means the case. 

The gentle, low-voiced, soft-mannered, little woman 
apparently existing only for the purpose of doing the 
bidding of her husband and of his parents, of keeping his 
house and his clothes in good order, and last, but certainly 
not least, of rearing a family gives proof, when occasion 
arises, of the possession of an iron will. When honour 
and duty are at stake, the meek little lady becomes a 
heroine, towering, head and shoulders, above the ordinary 
run of womankind. The heart that flutters beneath the 
soft kimono is as stout in the hour of national emergency, 
or of imminent peril to personal honour, as that of any 
Samurai of old. The tiny, soft hands are as ready to- 
day to bear arms in defence of Japan's sacred soil, or to 
grasp the dagger that will bring death as the means or 
escape from dishonour, as they were in the days of Old 


Japan, when every lady was trained in the art of fencing 
with the halberd, in order to defend the women's apart- 
ments, the last stronghold of the castle overrun by the 
enemy. During the Avar with China, women volunteered 
in large numbers for service in the field, and were much 
mortified at the refusal they met with from the authori- 
ties. Unable to take an active part in the warfare, they 
did wonders in the more appropriate work of nursing the 
sick and the wounded, and, in innumerable instances, both 
in the hospitals and at home, gave convincing proofs of 
fearless devotion, of stoical resignation and of ardent 
patriotism. The latter virtues were made especially mani- 
fest in the manner of their receiving the tidings of the 
death in the field, or at sea, of husband, or son, and in 
the way in which the bereavement was borne. 

And, in many cases, the bereavement meant the loss 
of the bread - winner, and threw the task of supporting 
herself and her little ones on the widow, or compelled 
aged parents to return to work. All was borne without 
a murmur ; the beloved ones had fallen fighting for their 
country, with the cry " Hei-ka ban-zai/" ("Long live 
His Majesty ! " literally : " Ten thousand years to His 
Majesty ! ") on their lips. They died for Japan and in 
the moment of victor}' ; a Japanese woman would rather 
her dear ones perished thus than quietly passing away on 
a bed of sickness.* The records of the conduct of "the 
folks at home " during the war teem with instances of 
patriotic devotion on the part of women. A typical case 
is that of the grand old lady, bereft of all . her male 
relatives, husband, brother, and sons, all killed, or carried 
away by sickness, at the seat of war, who received the 
successive tidings with stoical calm, until the sad news 

* Or, more correctly, " on a mat and quilt of sickness," for there are 
no beds in Japanese houses. The idea of resting on an elevated sleeping- 
place is terrifying to the un-Europeanised Japanese mind. Several of my 
Japanese friends have told me that, on first attempting to sleep in an 
Occidental bed, their rest \vas much disturbed by the necessity of having 
repeatedly to climb on. to the bedstead after rolling off it on to ths floor. 


reached her of the death of her younger son, the last of 
the family to fall in defence of his country. Then the 
old mother burst into tears, exclaiming : " I weep at last, 
but do not misunderstand the cause of my tears ! I 
weep because I have no one left whom I can send out 
to die for our countr} 7 , and because, were I to marry 
again, I am too old to give the Emperor more warriors to 
fight his battles." 

It does not need the stimulus of war to prompt 
Japanese women to deeds of self-sacrifice. In May, 1891, 
a young servant-girl journeyed by train from Kanagawa 
to Kioto for the express purpose of offering her innocent 
lile in sacrifice as a vicarious atonement for the disgrace 
to the national honour resulting from the murderous 
attack, at Otsu, on the Tsarevich Nikolai Alexandrovich, 
who has since succeeded to the Throne of All the Russias, 
by the fanatically demented Policeman TSUDA Sanzo. 
Yuko, "Valiant," that was her personal name her family 
name was HATAKEYAMA^ was in full possession of her 
senses when she cut her slender throat on the threshold 
of the Government Buildings at Kioto. Her touching fare- 
well letter to her brother proves it ; so does the docu- 
ment in which she informed the authorities of the old 
Imperial City of the motives for her deliberate suicide. 
She had read in the newspapers that His Imperial Majesty 
was grieving sorely because of the foul attempt on the 
life of the nation's honoured guest, and she trusted that 
the voluntary sacrifice of her own pure young life would 
expiate the crime, remove the blot from the national 
scutcheon, and lift the burden of sorrow from the Em- 
peror's heart. 

Calmly and quietly she proceeded to carry out hei 
plan, entering every little item of her modest expenditure, 
to the very last moment, in her note-book the most 
pitiful " Cash Account " imaginable down to the pur- 
chase of a newspaper and to the trifling fee paid to a 
kami-yui t a female hairdresser, for putting a keen edge 


on the little razor with which she ended her life. She 
entered, too, the amount of money remaining in her 
purse, five Yen and a few Sen, sufficient, she hoped, for 
her funeral expenses ; and, with the purse, the account- 
book, and the two explanatory letters she had written, 
placed in her bosom, she tied her long under-girdle of 
silk tightly round her clothing, just above her knees, for 
she was the daughter of an impoverished Samurai, and 
knew that a Japanese of good breeding, like a citizen of 
Ancient Rome, must fall decently in death. To us Occi- 
dentals the story of the poor girl's self-immolation seems 
unspeakably pitiful, but the men of New Japan relate it 
with a strange light gleaming in their eyes, and they 
say : " She was a true Japanese woman ; in her heart 
burned the flame of the genuine Yamato Damashi-i, the 
undying Spirit of Old Japan." 

The men of Japan frequently speak of a girl of equal 
social rank as "a good, dutiful girl, one who would make 
a good wife .and a good mother," seldom as "a sweet 
girl" sweetness "goes without saying" in the land of 
gentle, amiable women never of a "jolly girl." The 
jollity is left to those girls who have to live by it, the tea- 
house waitresses and, especially, the "Accomplishment- 
mongers" the Gei-sha, who are the Professional Flirts 
of Japan. Amateur flirting does not exist in Japanese 
social life. The accomplishments that ensure a woman's 
social success in the Occident are relegated, in the Far 
East, to those who are paid to entertain the men; theirs 
are the wit and the power of repartee, the interesting 
small talk on the topics of the day, the amusing little 
affectations, in short, all the delightful frivolities that go 
to make up the eveiy-day conversation of the " charming 
woman" of the West, but that are considered beneath 
the dignity of the Japanese lady, absorbed in the serious 
business of female life. 

I fancy I hear my fair Readers exclaim : " Not the 
least little bit of innocent flirtation ! What a stupid 


country to live in 1 " Certainly, the absence of that 
freedom in the relations of young people of different sex, 
which is usual with the English-speaking nations, deprives 
the young Japanese of much harmless pleasure, but it is 
not, as might be thought, a hindrance to marriage, for, 
in Japan, everybody's betrothal is arranged through the 
intermediary of the Nakodo, or "Go-between," who ne- 
gotiates with the parents on both sides. Perhaps the loss 
entailed on the community by the restriction of flirting 
to professionals may be counter-balanced by the gain 
accruing from greater security of female morals. The 
average Occidental may well be startled by the mere 
suggestion that the virtue of women may be efficiently 
protected more efficiently, perchance, than in the West 
by the institutions and customs of a nation he has been 
taught to look upon as lacking morality. I venture to 
maintain that such is really the case. Japanese girls of 
the lower, and the lower middle, classes spend a con- 
siderable part of their leisure hours in a manner, appa- 
rently, identical with that in vogue in the corresponding 
classes in Great Britain and in America. They array 
themselves in their best clothes, not, it is true, in cheap 
finery, imitating the dress of the class above them, as 
their Western sisters do, but in neat, clean attire, tasteful 
and becoming; then they "take their walks abroad," just 
as in Occidental countries, generally in couples, hand in 
hand, or in joyous groups, merrily chatting, and whispering 
to one another those mysterious confidences, common to 
girlhood all the world over, that lead to fits of uncon- 
trollable giggling, and, occasionally, to peals of silvery 
laughter. They have even been known to let the glances 
of their bright eyes rest, for a moment, on the passing 
stranger of the opposite sex, and even to smile at him, 
especially if he be an I-jin San, a "Mr. Foreigner," for 
he is, in all respects, such an abnormal creature that a 
little lapse from strict decorum is pardonable when he is 
the cause of it. 


So far, the Japanese girl's behaviour may be said 
to be indistinguishable from that of the English-speaking 
Occidental girl of the same social standing the lower, 
and lower middle, classes but it differs in this respect that 
she does not walk out in the company of her brother's 
male friends, nor does she become acquainted with 
young men on the slightest, perfunctory introduction, 
nor, as is sometimes the case in the West, on no intro- 
duction at all. She does not "walk out," nor "keep 
company " with anyone, as her English-speaking sister in 
Western climes frequently does with a young man of 
whose antecedents and moral character she knows little, 
or nothing. 

Herein lies, I maintain, the superiority of the Japanese 
social system. I am, of course, fully aware that I am 
treading on dangerous ground, as it is an Article of Belief 
amongst Britons and Americans that there is no harm in 
this free intercourse between young men and girls of the 
classes that work for their living themselves, or whose 
parents are in that position. "I can trust my boys and 
girls to behave themselves in any circumstances," proudly 
avers the British Paterfamilias ; " Our girls are smart, you 
bet, and can take care of themselves all the time," is the 
boast of the American father. 

The truth is that the fathers being too busily en- 
gaged in the accumulation of pounds sterling, or dollars, 
their wives too much engrossed in domestic duties and 
social pleasures, and their sons too deeply interested in 
business and in sport, to be able to devote much atten- 
tion to the doings of the girls of the family, it is 
found generally convenient to indulge in a feeling of 
absolute security without enquiring very closely into 
its justification, and assurances such as those I have 
quoted are repeated until they come to be implicitly 
believed. As a matter of fact, the wide latitude given 
to young people in English-speaking countries is, in the 
majority of cases, harmless ; but in a very considerable 


minority, on the other hand, it leads indubitably to evils 
from which Japan is remarkably free.* 

Happily as the Japanese people are situated in this 
respect, they are not entirely spared those dramas pas- 
sionnels so frequent in the West. Passion works havoc 
in every race. Cases of conjugal infidelity occur amongst 
the Japanese, as in every nation, and every girl is not 
content to await the good offices of the Nakodo, the 
"Go-between," and her parents' subsequent bidding, before 
uniting herself to a man. Instances are not rare and 
supply material for innumerable novels and plays, and 
for sensational paragraphs in the newspapers of young 
people plighting their troth spontaneously, and resolving to 
die together when they despair of obtaining the parental 
consent to their union. These double suicides through 
love, called jo-shi, or shin-ju, sometimes terminate a 
clandestine liaison that has been, or is in danger of being, 
discovered; much more frequently they are pure "Bridals 
of Death," sealing for eternity the hitherto platonic affec- 
tion of two young hearts the victims are often mere boys 
and girls despairing of the fulfilment, in this world, of 
their yearning. 

In such a case the loveis will plight their troth to 
each other, sometimes, "for three, or more, successive 
existences" using, curiously enough, an idea borrowed 
from the Buddhist belief in the transmigration of souls 
in connection with suicide, an act strongly condemned by 
Buddhism sometimes "for ever and ever." They then, 

* So much one may say, without writing one's self down a sour old 
curmudgeon, wishing to curtail the pleasant liberty enjoyed by girls and 
young men in British communities and in America. No, I am not sour, 
Reader, nor a curmudgeon ; I am not even old, and my attitude towards 
youth is that of " Edward Lear's " 

' Old Derry-Down-Derry, 

Who loved to see little folks merry, 

and of Stranger's immortal optimist: 

" Et gai ! Cest la philosophic 
Dn grot Roger Bonttmfa" 


in many instances, partake together of a little feast and 
die, by their own hands, clasped in a last often in a 
first embrace. They invariably leave a written state- 
ment of their motives. Occasionally, they commit suicide 
separately, and in places distant from each other, but, as 
a rule, they die clasped in each other's arms, by dagger, 
or poison,- or, more frequently, by casting themselves, 
tightly bound together with the girl's under-girdle, into a 

The introduction of railways has added an additional 
method of consummating the Nuptials of Death, and 
the TSkio express, thundering along the line, has sent 
more than one couple of unfortunate lovers to seek blissful 
reunion "for ever and ever" in the Mei-do, the World 
Hereafter. Should, by any chance, one of the lovers be 
saved from death by the intervention of others, the sur- 
vivor is bound, in honour, to commit suicide at the earliest 
opportunity, so as to rejoin the beloved twin-soul. A 
girl, thus saved, who long survived her lover's suicide 
would be despised by her companions as a craven ; a 
man neglecting his obligation to abide by his plighted 
troth, and remaining in this world as the survivor of an 
attempted jo-shi, would be hounded out of the society of 
his comrades as a base coward and a perjurer. 

On the whole, it may safely be asserted that the state 
of morality amongst the women of the lower and the 
middle classes of Japan compares very favourably with the 
conditions obtaining in the Occident. As to the highest 
classes, a few, very rare, exceptions apart, their women 
are virtuous and set a worthy example of good works and 
of personal dignity to their less fortunately situated sisters. 
Their life is spent in a calmer atmosphere than that of the 
overheated, overstrung conditions of Western social life. 
Free from the rush of excitement, the mad race after 
pleasure, constantly sought, but seldom found, that whirls 
along the " Society Women " of the Occident, they are, 
as yet, untainted by the neurotic craving for " smartness, " 


that saps the foundations of family life in those Western 
social circles whose actions are most prominently before 
the public. 

It must not be assumed that Fashion has no power 
over the female mind in Japan, but its tyranny is less 
capricious than in the West, and its decrees take a longer 
time to permeate through the social strata. In Japan, 
one does not see the costumes of the highest classes 
repeated, in cheap and tawdry imitations within a few 
weeks of their introduction by fashion's decree on the 
persons of serving-maids and factory-girls out for a holiday. 
All Japanese women dress well when wearing their native 
costume, because their clothes are simple, clean, artistic 
in colouring, neatly arranged, and becoming, not only to 
the wearer's face and figure, but to her station in life. 
The British housemaid enjoying wages to the amount of 
eighteen pounds per annum, the shopgirl, or the barmaid, 
in receipt of a munificent salary of seven shillings and six- 
pence a week, with board and lodging, or, possibly, a 
pound a week if living at her own expense, the "Chorus- 
lady," earning from twenty-five shillings to a maximum 
of two pounds a week, sally forth in their leisure hours 
attired in clothes and trinkets that would, were they 
really what they pretend to be, imply the outlay of at 
least half a year's income on their purchase. In Japan, 
on the contrary, in matters of feminine apparel " things 
are what they seem," and this genuineness extends to the 
person of the wearer except in the matter of the com- 
plexion, often artificial!)*- modified with the help of powder, 
and of paint, and sometimes, in the case of professional 
entertainers, even of gilding, applied to the centre of 
the lips. 

But the "make up" is so palpable, the powder is so 
thickly strewn, the little patch of red on the lips so 
brilliant and sharply outlined, that there is no attempt at 
deceit. As to the figure, it is tnith itself; "improvers" of 
various kinds are mysteries unknown in the Japanese 


female dress, the small cushion sometimes worn at the 
back, under the -waist, being intended solely to support 
the great bow of the wide sash, the obi. The clothes and 
ornaments worn by Japanese women being really com- 
posed of the materials indicated by their appearance, and 
these being, frequently, of a costly nature, a woman's 
complete costume sometimes represents a sum entirely 
out of proportion to the means of her husband or hei 
parents. This arises not from extravagance, but from the 
fact that she is wearing heirlooms, for the beautiful wear- 
resisting products of the silk-looms of Old Japan are 
handed down from mother to daughter, the changes of 
fashion being so slight that they can easily be followed 
by minor alterations that do not injure the fabric, noi 
require the ornament, such as a particular kind of hair- 
pin, to be discarded. The Japanese lady prides herself 
on the simplicity of her raiment and on the unobtrusive 
colour and pattern of its materials. 

The women who devote the greatest amount of 
time and attention to their personal adornment, which 
forms no inconsiderable part of their stock-in-trade, 
the Gei-sha the professional entertainers, singing-girls, 
and trained flirts are equally careful that their dress 
should be in the quietest taste, but they are easily to be 
distinguished from the ladies of the land, just because the 
simplicity of the Gei-sha s costume is too apparently a 
studied effect. The quiet colours and simple adornment 
of her dress are too evidently the result of much fore- 
thought and of a determination to be trs-chic. That 
fascinating little person, the Gei-sha, has insinuated her- 
self into such world - wide notoriety, she has conquered 
such a prominent position in every one of the most 
popular works on Japan, that I shall devote no more 
space to her and to her artfully artless little ways. With 
her well-developed commercial instinct, for she is a busi- 
ness-like little charmer, she might cause to be noted the 
number of sticks of incense that burn down to their 


sockets, one after another, in the small square marked 
with her name on the " time-board " kept at the Gei-sha- 
ya, or Agency, that lets her out for hire, whilst I am 
writing about her, and the next mail from Japan might 
bring me a bill a yard long, claiming many Yen for "the 
space of fourteen and a half sticks of incense of the time 
and sendees of the august Miss Lotus (O Hasu San)" 
or "the august Miss Snow (O Yuki San)." It is, how- 
ever, necessary that I should devote a few lines to the 
Gei-sha to clear their character from an imputation that 
has been sown broadcast. The general impression with 
regard to them prevailing amongst Occidentals is that they 
are, without exception, as frail as they are charming. This 
is an erroneous view, for, although the circumstances in 
which they exercise their calling expose them to great 
temptations, to which they frequently succumb, there is 
absolutely nothing in the nature of their vocation render- 
ing laxity of morals inevitable. There is no more reason 
for a Gei-sha to be immoral than there is for an Occi- 
dental public entertainer actress or concert-singer to 
abandon the straight path of virtue. 

In one phase, and a most important one, of the great 
question of woman's place in the social fabric the men 
of Japan have progressed far in an honest attempt to deal 
with an evil, as old as the human race, that has baffled 
social reformers throughout the West. The Japanese have 
succeeded, for many generations, in stripping vice of its 
most dangerous, repulsive, and degrading attributes, with- 
out thereby increasing its prevalence. The "Social Evil," 
to use a cant term, exists in Japan under the vigilant care 
and strict control of the State, wisely exercised in a manner 
that safeguards the health of the whole community and the 
virtue of chaste women, whilst raising their fallen sisters 
to a level of comparative decenc} r that saves them from 
utterly hopeless moral and physical degradation, and gives 
them a chance of returning, some day, once again to a 
virtuous life, 


The existence of the unfortunate inmates of the Yoshi- 
wara at Tokio, and of the similar quarters of provincial 
cities, is sad enough, in any case, but especially in the 
frequent one of a girl who has sold herself, for a term 
of years, into the worst kind of slavery so as to obtain, 
by the purchase money, sufficient funds to save her father 
from bankruptcy. Yet, sad as is their lot, the Jo-ro 
are in an infinitely better position than the Sad Sisterhood 
in the West, whom the Occidental, with cruel irony, 
calls " Gay Women," for the Japanese fallen women have 
prospects, however faint, of social redemption, and are, 
indeed, often fit for it, as with the exception of a few 
who have become contaminated by association with the 
scum of all nations at the Treaty Ports they are sober, 
clean in their persons and their speech, and retain, in 
spite of their immoral mode of life, a certain courtesy 
and refinement of manner, a gentleness of disposition, 
that enable them, if fortunate, to re-enter the ranks of 
their respectable sisters without bearing too glaringly 
the brand of their Past. 

In Old Japan, a curious sort of hieratic glamour used 
always to surround the most popular Oiran Sam a 
"the Lady Prostitute," the respectful designation indi- 
cates the feelings of the people and it still lingers in 
the minds of the masses, a remarkable survival, perhaps, 
of the intimate connection existing in past ages, in almost 
all parts of the world, between women of easy virtue and 
the celebration of religious rites. It would be difficult to 
trace the connection between the Nautch-ga\s still attached 
to Hindu temples, the Priestesses of Venus (and of other 
cults) in classical antiquity, and the extraordinary respect 
shown in Old Japan to the Oiran Sama ; especially as the 
Mi-ko, "the Darlings of the Gods" the young priestesses, 
clad in long, white robes over crimson silk Jiakama 
(divided skirts) who perform sacred dances in some 
Shin-to temples are virgins ; though, in the latter years 
of the Empire, Rome had her Vestals at the same time 


as she had those Priestesses whose ministrations in the 
temples of various imported Eastern deities necessitated 
their being the very opposite. 

Those travellers who have been witnesses of the strange 
ceremony known as Hachi-mon-ji-ni aruki, the " Figure- 
of-Eight-Walking," at one of the three seasons when tru 
flowers are changed in the gardens of the Tokio Yoshi- 
wara, have been impressed by the apparent solemnity of the 
weird scene. The favoured Oiran Sama, selected to " view 
the blossoms" as representatives of the whole frail sister- 
hood, gorgeously attired, powdered and painted until their 
faces look like masks, their heads ornamented with a pro- 
fusion of enormously long hair-pins, their obi of costly 
brocade tied in front in a huge bow,* are mounted on geta, 
or wooden clogs, a foot high, and walk with slow and 

* The sash-bow tied in front, and more than three hair-pins (kan-sashi) are 
badges of their calling imposed on the prostitutes of Japan, formerly by old 
sumptuary laws, and to this day by custom. This is a fact to be noted 
by Occidental ladies, so that they may avoid the awkward mistakes 
frequently made by them when appearing at Fancy Dress Balls in 
Japanese costume, mistakes that provoke much sly merriment on the part 
of spectators who know Japan. It has happened to me more than 
once to be interrogated by some charming European lady, looking 
perfectly bewitching in a beautiful kimono usually, however, crossed right 
over left, and, therefore, in the manner of grave- clothes, every live Japanese 
wearing the clothing crossed left side over right and a gorgeous obi, and 
her pretty head encircled by a dozen hair-pins and ornaments : " My 
dress is quite correct, is it not?" What could I say? I own that I took 
refuge in ambiguity worthy of the Delphic Oracle, answering : " Certainly, 
quite correct, but so much depends upon what particular type of Japanese 
you intend to represent." "Ah! I knew I was correct. I copied all 
the details of the head-dress from a lovely Japanese fan." I had thought 
as much. The Japanese uchi-ua, or non-folding fan, of the cheap kind so 
common in the Occident some grocers "give them away with a pound 
of tea" is often decorated with a highly-coloured print, a fancy portrait 
of some famous beauty of the Yoshi-uwa, the purely conventional face 
surrounded by a halo of hair-pins. These portrait-fans, and the cheap, 
brilliant colour-prints (nishiki-ye, "brocade pictures,") representing famous 
Oiran Sama, are gradually being displaced in popular favour by photographs, 
the Frail Sisterhood in Japan being as much alive to the utility of photo- 
graphic advertisement as their Occidental congeners, with this difference, 
that in the Far East where scant attire or even nudity is considered quite 
permissible when it is necessary or convenient, but only then the portraits 
offered publicly for sale are those of decently-clad females. 

THE "JOSffl-WARA." 269 

measured steps, through the admiring and respectful crowd. 
The height of the clogs compels them to proceed very 
deliberately, at the rate of about one step a minute, 
placing one foot before the other in such a way that 
the print of the clogs forms the Chinese character, in 
use throughout the Far East, for " Eight " (A), in Japanese : 

The wonderfully-apparelled Oiran, moving like an 
automaton on her high,, black pattens, her hands sup- 
ported by an attendant on either side, her whitened face 
absolutely impassive, gazes straight before her, with the 
abstracted mien befitting a priestess of a once universal 
cult. There is no direct evidence that the weird pro- 
cession in which she is taking part had a religious origin, 
but the probabilities all point that way, when we bear in 
mind the extent to which phallic worship prevailed in Japan 
until 1868, and the traces of it that still linger in remote 

I have stated that vice is not increased by its regula- 
tion by the State in Japan, nor is it thereby palliated in 
the eyes of the self-respecting section of the community. 
In Old Japan, the Samurai who visited the Yoshi-wara 
concealed his features beneath a broad, pudding-basin- 
shaped hat, or a cloth tied over his face. To this day, no 
respectable Japanese would like to be seen passing through 
its gates, unless in the company of a foreigner, to whom 
he is showing the sights of the Metropolis. Whatever 
we may think, individually, of the whole system, with 
its strict police control and regular' medical inspection, 
in one respect we must acknowledge its complete effi- 
ciency : it succeeds in confining vice to one particular 
district, where only those who deliberately seek it come 
in contact with it, and it leaves the rest of the streets of 
the great city clean and pure. Kanda is the most " rowdy " 
Kit, or Ward, of Tokio, the " Quartier Latin " of the 
Japanese capital, the home of students and the location 
of clandestine drinking-shops and tea-houses of shady 


reputation. Its inhabitants are the typical Yedo-ko 
literally, the Enfants de Yedo in fact, just as the true- 
born Cockney, in the stiictest acceptation of the word, 
must have first seen the light of day in a locality within 
sound of Bow Bells, the Parisien de Paris within ear-shot 
of the rumbling of the Boulevards, and the " echter 
Weana," under the shadow of the Stefanskirche, so must 
the genuine " Son of Tokio " be able to boast that : 
" Kanda-no jo-sui-de ubu-yu-wo tsukatta" " He was 
washed at birth in hot water from the upper waters of 
Kanda." A Japanese lady might walk through the streets 
of Kanda at any hour of the night without seeing anything 
that could possibly offend the most sensitive feelings of 
propriety. A man may stroll along Ginza, the Regent 
Street of Tokio, at midnight without being once accosted. 
For aught he could see, or hear, in nocturnal rambles 
through the city, such a thing as vice might be absolutely 
unknown in Tokio. Compare this with the state of 
London streets between eleven o'clock at night and the 
small hours of the morning 1 " They order these things 
better in " Japan 1 

Since 1880, a great and beneficial change has taken 
place in a most important, probably the most important, 
feature of the conjugal life of Japanese women of the 
higher, and of the upper middle, classes the institution 
of Concubinage, deprived, for the first time, of all legal 
sanction by the Penal Code promulgated in that year. In 
the years since the publication of that Code concubinage 
has steadily fallen into disfavour. It was always con- 
fined, in Japan, in China and in Korea, to the wealthy 
classes, as, naturally, only the man who could afford to 
keep another woman besides his wife would avail himself 
of the privilege conferred by immemorial custom. Through- 
out the Far East, concubinage had its origin in the desire 
lor male issue. Should the wife and there has always 
been, except in a very few cases amongst the highest 
classes, in ancient times, only one legal wife fail to 


present her husband with a son, he took, if his means 
allowed it, a concubine, in the hope of securing the con- 
tinuance of the family in the male -line. Numerous 
instances are on record of wives, unable to bear male 
offspring, actually requesting their husbands to take a 
concubine, for the sake of perpetuating the family name 
without having recourse to adoption, the course followed by 
those son-less men too poor to keep up a plural domestic 
establishment, or too fond of a wife to divorce her on a 
flimsy pretext and marry another. Whatever is here stated 
on the subject of concubinage and of divorce must be taken 
to apply in the present tense to China and Korea, but 
already in the past tense as regards a large proportion of 
the population of Japan. The Japanese law of 1880 
forbade the recognition in the Ko-seki, or Family Register, 
of the son of a Mekake, or Sho, a concubine, as the heir, 
failing male issue by the wife, and the raison d'etre of 
the whole system thus fell to the ground. 

But other causes than the desire of a son and heir had, in 
the course of centuries, operated in favour of the custom. 
The ineradicable polygamous instinct common, in varying 
degrees, to men of all periods, suggested the addition of 
concubines, beyond the requirements of family continuance, 
to the household capable of supporting them. Hence, 
concubinage dies hard in Japan, the polygamous instinct 
being unaffected by the law depriving the custom of its 
logical excuse, but it is dying for all that. The Mekakt 
was always a kind of upper servant rather than a consort : 
she waited on the wife, in cases where they lived under 
the same roof only wealthy households had a separate 
establishment, a sho-taku, for the concubine: she addressed 
her respectfully as Oku Sama, "Madam," whilst she 
herself was called only by her personal name, even by 
her own son, should she be fortunate enough to have 
borne the heir, whereas he would call the legal wife 
his "Mother." To her son, the Mckake would stand in 
the position occupied in many Occidental households by a 


faithful, valued nurse, who "brought up the young Master " ; 
towards his father's wife, although united to her by no 
ties of blood, he would observe the severe subjection of 
Far Eastern filial piety. Now, the concubine has no legal 
status in the family ; Japanese women, inspired by the 
new thoughts instilled with the modern education, are not 
slow to realise the fact, and it may safely be assumed that 
the lapse of another generation will mark the virtual 
extinction of the Sho, or Mekake. 

There are not wanting keen Japanese observers of 
social conditions who are in considerable doubt as to the 
ultimate benefit to accrue to the nation from the dis- 
establishment of the system of concubinage. They shake 
their heads ominously and express the fear, based on their 
observation of Occidental life, that the disappearance of 
the Mekake as a recognised institution may lead to evils 
of another kind. The husband, they say, may seek 
variety in his sexual relations in other, and less open, and 
therefore more pernicious, ways; he may lead a double 
life, squandering his means on a clandestine establishment 
with a mistress, perhaps raising an illegitimate family, and 
thus creating a class, happily hitherto almost unknown in 
Japan, of those unfortunate innocent beings who suffer so 
cruelly in the West for the transgression of their parents; 
he may frequent the Yoshi-wara, or he may cast lustful 
eyes on his neighbour's wife or daughter. These are 
grave forebodings, and those who utter them point to the 
wrecked lives, so common in the Occident, in confirmation 
of their apprehensions, for it is a peculiarity of the Far 
Eastern observers of our social conditions that they are 
not deluded by the conventional fictions we find so com- 
forting, but probe deep into our national sores. At the 
same time, they are, as a rule, just and acknowledge that 
the family life of the majority of Occidentals is worthy 
of imitation, but they absolutely reject the gratifying as- 
sumption, to which the West clings, that this majority 
is an overwhelmingly large one. They know, by the 


results of keen, unprejudiced observation how large the 
minority is, and they hesitate before recommending the 
adoption, en bloc, of a social system that allows, in then 
opinion, of the existence of so much unhappiness, so 
much undeserved suffering, so much hypocritical deceit. 
"The Mekake," they say, "was, under the old dispensa- 
tion, a respectable woman, her children had equal rights 
with their fellow-creatures ; if we abolish concubinage 
entirely, we lower her to the position of a clandestine 
mistress, and her children will be condemned to the hard 
lot of bastardy. Moreover, the husband, who, hitherto, 
saw no wrong in his conduct, will, in future, visit his 
mistress by stealth, become a moral coward, and practise 
deceit towards his wife, who, for her part, will be tortured 
by pangs of jealousy, suspicion, and hatred she never 
knew before." To these warnings the ardent social re- 
formers of Japan reply that husbands must learn to con- 
form strictly to monogamy, the purest and best form of 
matrimony, and the objectors return to the charge with 
the assertion that continence is not given to every man, 
that marriages are often unhappy from physical causes 
entirely beyond control, and, finally, that counsels of per- 
fection do not enter into the range of practical social 
reform. So the battle of the opinions rages in the Far 
East, but, I repeat, concubinage is doomed in Japan, and 
so is the ancient, unjust system of divorce, strictly Chinese 
in spirit, whereby the husband can dismiss the wife, at 
least in theory, almost as readily as he can get rid of a 
hired servant. 

Here again, the reformers meet with opposition. The 
objectors are ready to concede that the wife should be 
allowed to free herself from a bad husband a right 
hitherto practically denied to her but they are against 
any restriction of the present wide facilities for divorce, 
urging that no good can come of compelling people to 
remain fettered together who should be united solely by 
bonds of mutual esteem, of trust and affection. 


Slowly, very slowly, but surely, the Japanese woman 
is approaching emancipation from the many disabilities 
incidental to her inferior position. Her sisters in China 
and in Korea have, as yet, no such bright prospect before 
them. In both those Empires, the women of the working 
classes lead a life very similar, in its conjugal aspects, to 
that of the married female toilers in the West, with, 
probably, the balance of happiness slightly in favour ot 
the Far East, for, although cases of wife-beating are not 
unknown, by any means, in China, the working man oi 
Eastern Asia is, almost invariably, sober and, nearly 
always, a kind husband and father. The working woman 
of China, the patient, hardy, thrifty toiler, in baggy blue 
cotton clothes, and the sturdy, hard-featured, strong, white- 
clothed worker of Korea it is almost unnecessary to state 
that the woman is meant, for the Korean man seldom 
works really assiduously are estimable types of woman- 
kind. Industrious, independent, excellent wives and 
mothers, they live on a footing of companionship with 
their husbands, just as the women of the Japanese labour- 
ing classes do, and their active lives, free from the 
trammels imposed on their social superiors by rigid customs 
of hoary antiquity, approach very nearly to the Occidental 
ideal of conjugal happiness in humble circumstances. It 
is the women of the higher classes, in China and in 
Korea, who are reduced to the condition of mere 
automata, serving merely to propagate the family and to 
minister to the pleasures of their husbands. Poor dressed- 
up dolls, gaudily apparelled, painted and powdered, they 
spend soulless lives in the seclusion of the women's apart- 
ments, surrounded by the concubines with whom they 
share their husbands' affection, and by a swarm of slave- 
girls who are also at the disposal of the Lords and 
Masters. I have written the words " soulless lives " ; on 
second thoughts, I must qualify them, for no woman's 
life can be considered spiritless that is illumined by 
maternal joys, and, in most cases, the gladsome laughter 


of children sheds its sunshine into the monotonous gloom 
of the Chinese, or Korean, lady's married life. And they 
fully appreciate the blessing, for there are no more con- 
scientious mothers, and none more tender, than these 
women of the Far East. 

As a rule, the ladies of China and of Korea take little, 
or no interest in intellectual pursuits, their education 
having been of a severely practical character, limited to 
fitting them for the ordinary duties of domestic life and 
of motherhood. But there are brilliant exceptions, in the 
upper middle class as well as in higher circles. Some 
women, generally the favourite daughters of Literati, have 
received an advanced education and shine in poetry, in 
elegant prose composition, and in the arts. Moreover, 
however low the general average of female intellect may 
be in China and Korea, owing to the severe repression 
to which the women are subjected, there are among 
them strong, masterful characters, and shrewd brains, as 
in the case of the two women who h-ive played such an 
important part in the history of their respective countries 
in the 'nineties the Empress-Dowager of China, and the 
late Queen of Korea, who was foully murdered in her own 
Palace by a band of Korean and Japanese conspirators. 
It seems passing strange that two women should have 
exercised, of late years, such preponderating influence on 
the destinies of nations that relegate their womankind to 
such a low position in the social scheme. Close enquiry 
into the domestic life of Far Eastern peoples reveals, 
however, the fact that this position of subjection is often 
more apparent than real. Hen-pecked husbands are not 
uncommon in Eastern Asia, although their condition of 
abject servitude is often concealed from outsiders by a 
strict observance of the conventionalities of conjugal life. 
The woman who shows her husband all the prescribed 
marks of respect in the presence of strangers will, some- 
times, when he is at her mercy in the privacy of her 
apartments, let loose the torrent of invective that comes 


readily to Chinese, or Korean, lips, and the unfortunate 
man will hide his diminished head. Many a stern Man- 
darin, who sits in his tribunal, as awe-inspiring as Rhada- 
manthus, and grimly throws out of a bowl, on to the floor 
of the Court, the little slips of bamboo, each of which is 
a voucher for five strokes, to be well and duly laid on 
the unfortunate prisoner, lying on his face on the ground 
before him, by the executioner armed with the thick, or 
the thin, bamboo many a hectoring, dogmatic Graduate, 
trembles at home in the presence of a little, sharp-tongued 
woman wife or concubine. The law of the land per- 
mitting the husband to divorce his wife for, amongst other 
reasons, "a scolding tongue," it is strong testimony to the 
patience of the hen-pecked men that they do not, as a 
rule, avail themselves of the privilege. 

The mind of the average Chinese woman is cramped 
and confined within the narrow limits of the national pre- 
judices and superstitions, just as her feet, small by nature, 
are tortured into stumps rendering walking, unaided, a 
very difficult matter. If she be of Tartar race, she 
escapes this cruel and absurd custom ; even if of Chinese 
blood, but of the working class a peasant, or a boat- 
woman, for instance her feet are allowed to retain their 
natural size and shape. One of the most hopeful signs of 
impending reform in China is the formation, in 1897, of 
a purely Chinese "Society for the Abolition of the Feet- 
Compressing Custom" amongst the inhabitants of the 
southern Province of Kwang-tung (" Canton "). The chief 
obstacle in the Society's path is the fact that the com- 
pressed feet are looked upon as a mark of "gentility." 
Like the long finger-nails of the Mandarin, they imply : 
" See how ' genteel ' I am ; 7 have never needed to do 
any work ! " And when women once get it into their 
heads that a certain custom, or fashion, is "the correct 
thing," it needs a very powerful Society, energetically 
conducted, to alter their opinion, especially if, as in this 
case, the fashion has won the approval of poets, who have 


composed well-known stanzas on the " Golden Lilies," the 
tiny, compressed feet, on which the lady-love sways to 
and fro "like the graceful willow." 

Cramped at both ends, mentally, as to her brain, 
physically, as to her feet, the Chinese lady cannot be 
expected to have much knowledge of the world, and is, 
naturally, deficient in the conversational powers that 
require such knowledge. If her husband wants to sharpen 
his wits by conversation with a brilliant female talker, he 
must needs seek one of the sprightly inmates sprightly, 
from a Chinese point of view of the "Flower Boats," or 
of similar establishments on shore. The wife can talk to 
him, shrewdly enough, about matters of the nursery, and 
of domestic economy in general. On other subjects she 
has no conversation. Her Korean sister is in the same 
case ; although her feet are not deformed, she makes but 
little use of them, being secluded within the boundaries 
of her house and garden. One may travel from one end 
of Korea to the other without ever seeing a native lady. 
One may encounter, in the streets of Soul, women of the 
middle class, out "shopping," or going to visit friends, 
but one gets but a vague idea of their figures, and the 
merest glimpse of their features ; as a rule, only a peep at 
two bright dark eyes. The voluminous white skirt, 
standing out stiffly from the body, which bears to it the 
proportion of the clapper to a bell, begins at a waist 
that is placed high up under the arm-pits ; it covers 
baggy white trousers reaching to the ankles, as many as 
three pairs being sometimes worn. The head and shoulders 
are concealed under a sleeved gown, generally of a bright, 
deep green, which is not used for its natural purpose, 
but only as a hood and cape, much in the same way as 
the London carman's boy throws his jacket over his head 
in a sudden down-pour of rain. The folds of this gown 
are held together in front of the face, leaving only the 
eyes exposed, the sleeves hanging down on either side. 
The traveller does not have much time to examine this 


curious costume, for, the moment its wearer sees him, she 
bolts into the first house the door of which stands open, 
to seek the sanctuary every Korean dwelling offers to a 
woman in danger of meeting a man. For the casual 
meeting of persons of opposite sexes is looked upon as 
a grave peril amongst the higher and middle classes in 
Korea, and to obviate it, as far as possible, and, at the 
same time, to give the women an opportunity for exercise, 
a strict curfew regulation enjoins or enjoined, for ancient 
laws are repealed and re-enacted with astonishing rapidity 
in New Korea that no male do venture out of doors 
between the hours of 8 P.M. and sunrise, except on official 
business, or to summon aid to a sick person's bedside, 
so that the ladies may roam abroad without hesitation. 
Woe betide the luckless Korean man who infringed this 
regulation ; if he fell into the clutches of a police patrol 
he would be soundly flogged for his audacity. 

The working women of Korea are not restricted to the 
hours of night for their walks abroad, nor need they 
conceal their faces, prematurely seamed and hardened by 
constant drudgery, under the gown worn as a hood. 
They move about freely at all times, clad in loose white 
trousers and full white skirt, with an apology for a jacket, 
an exiguous garment, also of white cotton, that covers the 
shoulders, but reaches only to the upper part of the 
bosom, leaving the greater portion of the breasts exposed. 
There is another class of Korean women who enjoy a 
great amount of freedom in their movements the Ki- 
saing (pronounced, nasally, Ki-s$ng), or dancing-girls, who 
are the counterpart of the Gei-sha ,of Japan, but less re- 
putable, as their calling is, almost invariably, supplemented 
by prostitution. It is in their society the Korean men 
seek the intellectual relaxation they cannot find in the 
company of their worthy, but humdrum, wives. Through- 
out the Far East, the men are often driven to the perilous 
company of professional entertainers dangerous because 
their fascinations often prove irresistible owing to the 


"goody-goody" dulness of their homes. It is the story 
of classical antiquity all over again. The ladies of Athens, 
and the Roman matrons, were most estimable women, with- 
out doubt, exemplary wives and mothers, but their conversa- 
tion was limited to home topics the price of provisions, 
probably, or baby's new tooth, or the misdeeds of the 
household slaves and they must have been singularly un- 
interesting companions. So their husbands sought solace, 
often for the mind only, in the brilliant society of the 
Hetaira, who shone as much by their wit, and often by 
their learning, as by their beauty. 

The education of women in New Japan is fitting them 
more and more to brighten home life intellectually, as 
well as with the liglit of their domestic virtues, and there 
is little room for doubt that, in the course of the coming 
generation, the wives will be able to compete successfully 
with the Gei-sha in the art of interesting and amusing 
their husbands. Many of them already do so. In China, 
the great majority of the women are still benighted, but 
a beginning has already been made, although on a very 
small scale, towards providing some of them with educa- 
tion in the Occidental sense of the word. In Korea, 
American and British Missionary efforts have already had 
some effect in the same direction. A whole generation, 
at least, must pass away before any appreciable results 
can leaven the whole womankind of China and of Korea 
with a higher conception of the part reserved for it in 
the social fabric. Then the Women of the New Far East 
will become more learned, more self-reliant, more capable 
of holding their own in the wide world; more obedient 
daughters, more dutiful wives, and more devoted mothers 
they cannot possibly be. 



THE interest in the Far East, now so keenly felt by 
Occidentals, is based, to a great extent, on the magnitude 
of the industrial, commercial and financial questions in- 
volved. Not only have huge sums accumulated, in the 
past, in trade with Eastern Asia, not only is the vast 
importance of its commerce with the West constantly 
increasing, but very weighty economic questions, affect- 
ing all countries, await solution in those parts of the 

This may seem a sordid cause to which to attribute 
the interest of the West in the affairs of the Far 
East, but it is, nevertheless, the principal factor at work, 
especially in the great industrial and commercial nations, 
with which the " argumentum ad pocketum" increases 
daily in force. Millions of Occidentals look to the New 
Far East as the Land of Promise whence golden streams 
are to flow into the coffers of Europe, of America and 
Australia, in exchange for products that are becoming a 
glut in the markets of those continents, and for the out- 
put of industries that must find new outlets if they are 
to live. The general impression seems to be that Occi- 
dental commerce has in Eastern Asia a magnificent field, 
the surface of which has hitherto barely been scratched, 
that those Lands of the Dawn abound in resources beyond 
the wildest dreams of the most sanguine imagination 
that of the promoter of companies, or of the mining 


expert, for instance and that the "teeming millions" of 
the yellow races are eagerly awaiting the day that will 
place the commodities "made in the Occident" within 
their reach. 

This impression requires to be considered, if we would 
make sure of its accuracy, by the light of a knowledge 
of the local conditions and, especially, of the character 
of the peoples in question, rather than by the light of 
statistics alone. Fellows of the Royal Statistical Society, 
and others who expect serried columns of bewildering 
figures in small print, are hereby warned off. I do not 
intend to quote statistical returns, because those who 
hanker after them can find them, duly tabulated, in the ex- 
cellent, interesting, often even amusing, Reports on Trade 
of Her Britannic Majesty's Diplomatic and Consular Repre- 
sentatives issued by the Foreign Office at very moderate 
prices, and to be obtained through any bookseller and 
in the minutely detailed Returns published, in English, by 
various Departments of the Japanese Government, and by 
the Imperial Maritime Customs of China. In the case of 
Japan, a valuable Resume Statistique de I' Empire du Japon 
is also issued annually. I refrain from giving tables of 
carefully marshalled figures for another reason also, and 
a weighty one : the rapidity with which such statistics 
pass out of date in the Far East, the region of commercial 
and industrial surprises, and especially in Japan, where 
trade and manufactures have acquired a habit of advanc- 
ing, not by the slow stages to which we are accustomed 
in the West, but by amazing "leaps and bounds." Re- 
turns out of date are worse than no statistics at all, as 
they are apt to be totally misleading, so I prefer to 
convey such information as I have to give in general 
terms, and to confine myself, as far as possible, to the 
consideration of broad principles and ethnographical facts, 
that will be as true five, ten or twenty years hence as 
they are now of such racial characteristics as are likely 
to undergo change, and of local conditions that will 


probably be altered, pointing out the direction in which 
the transformation will, most likely, be effected. I venture 
to think such a course will be more profitable than long 
rows of noughts, and many decimals, or than accurate 
statement, to a Catty* of the fish-glue, or of the dried 
mussels, exported from Ning-po in 1896, or, to a Yen's 
value, of the kerosene landed at K5be in the first quarter 
of 1898. One more word of warning to the Reader : 
vitally important as the Silver Question is to Far Eastern 
commerce, intimately as that great problem is bound up 
with the question of the currency in China, I shall not 
enter into any consideration of Bi-metallism, for or against, 
"that way madness lies." Indeed, it would be pre- 
mature to hazard an opinion on the subject at a time 
when data are still lacking to prove who were right, those 
who applauded Japan's adoption of the Gold Standard, in 
1897, or the pessimists who predicted national ruin as 
the ultimate result of the bold step. 

This matter of the Japanese Gold Standard offers 
an excellent opportunity of pointing out the tendency, 
amongst Occidentals in general, to attach the greatest 
importance to Far Eastern questions which are, no doubt, 
of vast magnitude, but really secondary in comparison to 
others receiving far less attention. The financial and 
commercial world is greatly excited over the probability 
of the Japanese being able, in the future, to pay their 
debts in gold, or the eventuality of their being compelled 
to return to payment in silver, but the great question 
lies far deeper than this. It is, really, not a question 
so much of the medium of payment, nor even of the 
ability of the Japanese to pay in any medium, but of their 
willingness to pay at all. In short, the honesty of the 
Japanese is the great point on which the mind of the 
Occident should be fully satisfied before any further 
consideration of the prospects of extended commerce with 
them can be profitably entered into. And their honesty 

* \}^ Pound Avoirdupois, or 0.60453 Kilogramme. 


in matters of commerce is not a foregone conclusion ; it has 
been questioned by many who should be in a good position 
to speak from experience. Almost every Occidental trading 
in the Far East has decided views on the subject, and these 
are, as a rule, unfavourable to the commercial morality of 
the Japanese. The European and American merchants who 
are established in the Treaty Ports of Japan are continually 
uttering complaints, which find their way into Consular 
Reports, of obligations neglected, debts unpaid, claims 
unsatisfied, contracts unfulfilled, and judgments of the 
Courts nullified by combinations of native Traders' Guilds 
for the purpose of that very Occidental operation known 
as "Boycotting." A certain amount of suspicion attaches 
to these lamentations owing to their origin. They 
proceed from people who have every reason to desire 
that industrial and commercial circles in the West should 
be deterred from direct dealing with the Japanese and, 
thanks to the efforts of the native merchants, seconded 
and encouraged by their Government, the tendency is 
all in the direction of direct trading and what better 
deterring agent could be found than the bogey of the 
" dishonest Japanese trader " ? Moreover, the complaints 
come from merchants who are not, as a rule, really 
in direct touch with the Japanese mercantile classes, 
but, almost invariably, deal with them through the inter- 
mediary of a Banto, the Japanese equivalent of the 
Chinese Comprador, the native employt who acts as a go- 
between, and is not always as scrupulous as he should 
be. He does not hesitate, at times, to manipulate his 
employer's business with less regard for its success than 
for sundry little speculations of his own, and sometimes 
throws the blame of losses, without compunction, on the 
shoulders of the Japanese factors, or retailers, to whom he 
sells, or of the producers, or their agents, from whom he 
buys. To this must be added the fact that the Occident 
hears but one version of the state of commercial morality 
in the Far East, that put forward by its own merchants, 


Little, or nothing, is known, in the West, of the many 
heartless swindles perpetrated by Occidentals in Eastern 
Asia in the days, not further back than the 'sixties, when 
the yellow races were still as children in matters of inter- 
national commerce, and in knowledge of the products of 
Occidental industry. We seldom, if ever, hear of the 
crazy steam-ships, the rickety machinery, the faulty rifles, 
the unsound goods of all kinds that were sold, in those days, 
at exorbitant prices, to buyers incapable, at the time, of 
detecting the frauds. To this day, there must be instances 
of unfair dealing on the part of some of the foreign mer- 
chants, unless the Occidental mercantile class in the Far 
East be entirely composed of absolutely blameless, high- 
minded men in which case it would present a marked 
contrast to every other commercial community in the 
world but these instances are not paraded before our 
eyes. The native trader, or producer, may suffer by them, 
but he is, so far, practically inarticulate as regards venti- 
lating his grievances before the Western public, whereas 
the Occidental merchant in the Far East can, and does, 
give vent to his indignation and his grumbling in the 
columns of newspapers, and in the pages of magazines and 
of Consular Reports. 

Whilst carefully weighing these conditions, militating 
against the absolute accuracy of the Western merchant's 
sweeping condemnation of Japanese commercial methods, 
it must be stated that there is, unfortunately, a solid basis 
of truth under his exaggerated censure. There are Japanese 
merchants, manufacturers, and bankers who rank as high 
in morality, and in strict adherence to the fairest methods, 
as any in the West, but they are, as yet, in a minority. 
There is a valid reason for this lamentable fact in the 
comparatively recent date of the raising of the Japanese 
commercial man's status to the plane of respectability, 
hardly attained by him in Old Japan. Until the Great 
Change, in 1867-8, the Japanese nation, apart from the 
outcast Eta and Hi-nin, was divided into four great classes : 


Shi, the military, administrative, and literary class, Nd, the 
agriculturists, Ko, the craftsmen, and, last and least, Sho, 
the traders. Some of the trading class accumulated great 
wealth, especially by lucky speculations in rice, and by 
judicious banking for Dai-miyo, or feudal lords, but they 
were accounted of the lowest class of citizens for all that. 
A few succeeded, by dint ot munificent donations for 
public purposes, in obtaining honours of some sort from 
the Government of the Sho-gun, a way of acquiring rank 
not unknown in the West, but the distinctions conferred did 
not alter the fact that they belonged to the despised class 
of traders again a parallel to Occidental conditions. It is 
easy to understand how, in a nation of warriors, those 
men who devoted themselves to commerce were looked 
down upon, especially when it is remembered that even 
in the British Isles, that owe their prosperity to commerce, 
there are, to this day, thousands of families, often such 
whose very name betrays them Mercers, Bakers, Taylors, 
Glovers, Smythes, and so forth whose proud boast it is 
that they "have never been in trade, you know." 

There is but little self-respect in any class that is despised 
by the bulk of its compatriots, and the traders of Old 
Japan, placed beyond the pale of respectability, formed 
no exception to the rule. A few great commercial families, 
like that of Mitsui, established centuries ago, rose, by 
honesty, ability, and accumulated wealth, above the level 
of the general ruck of traders, but the majority never 
rose, either in methods of business, or in popular esti- 
mation, above the standing of the small shopkeeper of 
the Occident. The Great Change brought an alteration 
in the division of the people ; the four classes were 
replaced by three : Kuwa-zoku, or Nobility (Princes, 
equivalent to British Dukes, Marquesses, Earls, Vis- 
counts, and Barons), Shi-zoku, or Gentry (the former 
Samurai, or two-sworded class), and Hei-min, or Common 
People. The last class included the farmers, large and 
small, the artisans and the traders, thus, for the first time, 


lumped together under a common designation. The effect 
of this change was not the lowering of the agriculturists 
and the craftsmen to the status of the traders, but the 
raising of these, as was intended, to a higher level. Not 
only Shi-zoku, but even members of the aristocracy, did 
not disdain to "go into trade," now that the old order of 
things had given way to the new, and a marked improve- 
ment in commercial aims, methods, and morality soon 
became perceptible. The majority of these new recruits 
to the ranks of commerce and finance, well-born and 
often highly educated, naturally gravitated, and still do 
so, towards the higher branches of money-making, towards 
banking, insurance, ship-owning and shipbuilding, manu- 
facturing, the exploitation of mines, the management of 
railways, and wholesale export and import business con- 
ducted on a large scale. It has thus come to pass that 
the commercial world of New Japan is divided into two 
classes : the great companies, representing that joint- 
stock enterprise for which the Japanese have so rapidly 
acquired a marked aptitude, and the first-rate private 
firms, on the one hand, and the large number of manu- 
facturers in a small way and petty traders, on the 
other. Of the first class, it may be declared with assur- 
ance that it displays quite as high a standard of integrity, 
fully as much energy and perseverance, and as great a 
spirit of enterprise, considering the obstacles to be sur- 
mounted, as the corresponding class in the Occident. It 
enjoys the further advantage that its members have been, 
as a rule, carefully and practically trained for their work, 
and have acquired a theoretical knowledge of the first 
principles underlying all commercial operations that is 
seldom found amongst Occidental men of business. There 
is, of course, danger in this theoretical knowledge when it 
is allowed, as is sometimes the case in Japan, to convert 
business men into doctrinaires, riding their hobbies at the 
fences of common-sense. Political Economy has nowhere 
more ardent votaries than in Japan, in accordance with 


the curious rule, obtaining throughout the world, by which 
the poorer nations supply the greater number of students 
of " the Dismal Science," whereas the people who own the 
greater part of the world's wealth hold it, and add to it, 
without bestowing more than a passing thought on the 
principles, first enunciated by a man of their own race, 
that are supposed to govern the economics of the globe. 

If the majority of Japanese commercial men were like 
the members of the class just described, we should hear 
but little complaint on the part of the Occidentals trading 
in their midst. Unfortunately, the greater number belong 
to the second category the petty traders, not always 
without capital, for some of them are, for Japan, wealthy, 
but almost always without any broad conception of busi- 
ness, mere hucksters, taking a greater delight in a 
momentary gain of a few Yen than in the undertaking 
of a transaction likely to result in a steadily increasing 
trade to the tune of thousands. If these petty traders 
were to be classified according to Carlyle's division of 
the English people, one ought, following the testimony of 
the irate Occidental who deals with them, to place them 
amongst the knaves, but this would be a grievous error. 
Rogues some of them may be, and cunning rogues at 
that, but the great majority are simply fools. In their 
narrow-minded folly, they are bent on squeezing the 
utmost amount of immediate profit out of a customer, 
regardless of the fact that they are thereby losing the 
chance of future steady and lucrative trade. They share 
with the Dutch of former times the fault of 

" Giving too little 
And asking too much." 

It is surprising that such quick-witted people as the 
Japanese unquestionably are should not have recognised, 
long ago, the futility of thus " killing the goose that lays 
the golden eggs." And, verily, the majority of the 
traders of Japan look upon the Occidental as a goose, 


else they would not impute to him such absolute im- 
becility as is implied in many of the commercial trans- 
actions they blandly propose to him. Fortunately, their 
little schemes for plucking the foreigner are generally, as 
the French say, " stitched with white thread," and the 
too evident snare is spread in vain in sight of the wary 
bird. Occas ; onaUy, however, the attempt succeeds ; the 
Occidental is caught, either through his ignorance of the 
local conditions, or because circumstances combine to place 
him at the mercy of the Oriental schemer. Thereupon 
great rejoicing ensues, and the attempt is repeated, need- 
less to say, hardly ever with success, as the foreigner 
"once bitten" is, to a certainty, "twice shy." 

Nobody deplores this folly of the petty trader more 
than the Japanese authorities themselves, and they are 
making strenuous efforts to put a stop to it, by exhorta- 
tion in the Reports of their Consular Officers, and by 
providing an excellent commercial education, at small cost 
to the students, for the training of a generation of mer- 
chants of broader views. There is no better-organised, 
no better-equipped institution of its kind in the world 
than the Commercial High School in Tokio, where a 
complete course of instruction, theoretical as well as 
admirably practical, is given. In one large hall of this 
School, that has counterparts in the chief commercial 
cities of Japan, a number of bays, or recesses, are labelled 
with the names of the principal mercantile centres of the 
world, and in each of these a number of students, who 
have been well grounded in theoretical knowledge, taking 
the parts, respectively, of bankers, importers, exporters, 
brokers, insurance agents, and shipping agents, carry on 
an active, simulated international trade in strict accord- 
ance with the business usages of the places at which they 
are supposed to be dealing. The various steps of every 
conceivable commercial transaction are accurately gone 
through, from the comparison of samples, obtained from 
the School Museum, to the giving and receipt of orders, 


the making out of invoices and bills of lading, of policies 
of insurance and freight - notes, and to the drawing, and 
sometimes the " protesting," of bills of exchange, even to 
disputes as to quality and packing, giving rise to instruc- 
tive correspondence in several languages, with the necessary 
dictation, shorthand, and type-writing, and " code " tele- 
grams. When will London, the commercial metropolis of 
the world, have a Commercial School like that of Tokio, 
or, indeed, a Commercial School of any kind worthy of 
the name ? 

The flourishing State Institutions that supply an excellent 
commercial education in Japan should be the most effective 
agencies for the purification and enlightenment of the class 
of small merchants whose overreaching rapacity has been 
described. Unfortunately, as fast as the students graduate 
at these schools, they are absorbed into the staff of one or 
other of the great banks, or companies, or important private 
firms that need no reformation. The minor houses of busi- 
ness, that most require their skilled supervision, offer no 
inducements to tempt them, and they are seldom possessed 
of sufficient capital to be able to establish themselves on 
their own account. Thus the small fry of Japanese trade 
continue to wallow in the mire of commercial ignorance 
and short-sighted greed, and the Occidental trader, sooner 
or later, suffers at their hands. He raises, in his wrath, a 
hue and cry against all Japanese mercantile people indis- 
criminatety, and the perfectly sound, honest, native firms 
are made to bear, in the public opinion of the West, the 
odium properly attaching only to the "shady" minor traders. 
The mischief is deserving of the closest attention of the 
Japanese themselves, for it increases daily in importance, 
as the business relations with the Occident become closer 
and more numerous, and the efforts of the Japanese to 
establish direct trade with all parts of the world gain in 
intensity. Of course, the Occidental merchant in Japan 
could protect himself by resolutely declining to do business 
with any native firms not of the highest standing, but this 


presupposes conditions that are seldom in existence an 
intimate acquaintance with the reputation and character of 
native traders, only to be obtained by direct intercourse 
with them, without the intermediary of the Banto, and 
necessitating a knowledge of the Japanese language very 
rarely possessed by Occidental merchants. 

As to the Western manufacturer, or merchant, at home, 
he has not the safeguard his compeer in Japan might empto) 7 , 
had he the energy to do so, for the man in the Occident, 
eager to sell his wares in Japan, is prone to enter into 
business relations with Japanese firms without sufficiently 
searching enquiry into their standing. Most of the great 
Japanese houses have branches, or agencies, in the chief 
commercial centres throughout the world. In dealing with 
these the Occidental at home runs no risk. The danger 
begins for him when he has executed an order, duly paid 
foiJlrsi orders generally are from a Japanese company, 
or firm, about which he knows nothing, or very little. How 
is he to know that he will be incurring great chance of 
loss by executing that tempting second, or third, order 
received from the " Dorobo Kuwai-sha, Limited," of Osaka, 
or from Messrs. Katari, Kanenaki & Co., of Yokohama, 
who write such plausible letters in such quaint English ? 
Well, there are Imperial Japanese Consulates in the West, 
and from any of these trustworthy information as to the 
probable genuineness of an order from Japan, and the 
standing of the firm giving it, may be obtained. The Con- 
sular Official giving the information will, naturally, not 
undertake any responsibility regarding it, but he may safely 
be trusted to do his utmost to safeguard the honour of 
the national commerce by preventing transactions, as far 
as lies in his power, that would, in his judgment, end in 
loss of money to the foreigner, and of reputation to the 

Time works wonders, and, in the course of years, we 
may see a new generation of Japanese merchants in every 
way worth}'- of the great commercial future that lies before 


their country. This desirable end will be attained, 
partly by the spread of commercial education, partly by 
combination amongst foreign merchants to resist any 
questionable practices on the part of Japanese traders, 
partly by an inevitable revolution in the foreign business 
methods in the Far East no more "go-between," direct 
dealing with the native merchants, and the study of the lan- 
guage and the customs of the country but chiefly by 
the efforts of those Japanese who are wise enough to 
recognise the present evil. Unfortunately, many Japanese, 
even amongst the most highly educated, still suffer from 
the national morbid hyper-sensitiveness, the consequence 
of centuries of insular seclusion, to such a degree that they 
resent honest foreign criticism, however gently administered, 
as an insult to their race. This " touchy " disposition often 
leads them to be somewhat lukewarm in certain much- 
needed reforms, simply because attention has been drawn 
to them by foreign observers. The fact that the candid 
friend is a foreigner makes the question, in their eyes, 
a national one, to be regarded not, as it shoud be, in 
the light of true patriotism ready to accept disinterested 
criticism and advice from any quarter, and to give it due 
consideration for the national welfare but with a spirit 
of wrong-headed "Chauvinism," rejecting censure and 
counsel simply because they come from a foreign source. 
I am well aware that several of my statements in these 
pages will prove anything but pleasant reading to some 
of my Japanese friends. A moment's reflection will 
convince them that a plain statement of the truth about 
their country is a far better way of serving its interests 
than the fulsome, indiscriminate adulation that has been 
lavished, from some quarters, on everything Japanese. 
They know me too well to question my love for their 
nation my whole life bears witness to it and I venture 
to think that the greatest proof thereof I can give is 
the attempt to furnish the Occident with an impartial 
account of Japanese virtues and defects, in the hope that 


the latter may be remedied. No nation is perfect ; 
strange as it may seem to some of my Readers, even the 
British nation is not without its faults. Foreign criticism 
is apt to be galling, but the Japanese themselves have a 
proverb of which I would remind them : " Riyo-yaku 
kuchi-ni nigashi" "the best medicine is bitter in 
the mouth." 

The strictures I have passed on the petty traders of 
Japan must not be held to apply to all of them indis- 
criminately, but chiefly to a large number of those who 
enter into business relations with Occidentals, either in 
Japan, through the Banto, or directly with firms in the 
West. The majority of the retail traders, the shop- 
keepers and small producers, are good, honest, marvellously 
industrious people, content with a small margin of profit. 
Their wares are often sold in Kuwan-koba, or bazaars, 
at absolutely fixed prices, " every article marked in plain 
figures," and the same excellent system is being gradually 
adopted in some of the principal shops in Tokio and in 
some of the larger provincial towns. In the other retail 
establishments throughout the country the immemorial 
Oriental custom of bargaining still flourishes, every trans- 
action occupying an unconscionable time, to the accom- 
paniment not, as in China, of loud protestations and 
violent gesticulation, but of much bowing, of expressions 
of deep regret at inability to offer, or to accept, a 
certain sum, and of numerous cups of tea and pipes of 
tobacco. It is when the small trader launches out into 
international transactions that his cupidity appears to 
become unduly excited. He is brought face to face with 
the prospect of sudden immoderate gain, for, in his 
eyes, every foreigner seems a very Croesus an impres- 
sion strengthened by the lavish manner in which some 
American travellers fling their money about and he 
loses his head and becomes foolishly rapacious. Unless 
the foreigner be wary, he may be made to pay dearly 
for the mischief wrought by other Occidentals who have 


run to extremes, in former transactions, either by un- 
thinking compliance with first demands of an extravagant 
nature, or by attempts to beat down the price below a 
fair limit, so as to show that they are " not going to be 
taken in" by the vendor, whom they have exasperated 
by the process, not unknown in London and Paris shops 
much frequented by ladies, of causing the greater part of 
the stock to be displayed before them and ultimately 
purchasing a mere trifle. 

The most powerful lever in the hands of the Japanese 
who would regenerate their trading class is the feeling of 
national honour, so highly developed in every other direc- 
tion amongst their countrymen. There is an expression, 
current in Japanese commercial circles, that has found 
its way into the language of the people at large, de- 
scribing any disgraceful action as likely to noren-ni kakari, 
"to hang to the curtain," that is drawn, at times, before 
the front of a Japanese shop, and bears the name and 
trade-mark of the firm in other words, likely to be a 
blot on the scutcheon. Let the Japanese once thoroughly 
understand that unfair commercial methods, excessive greed, 
and failure to meet engagements, will inevitably tarnish 
not only the sign-board of the peccant firm, but the 
glory of the national flag, and public opinion will 
brand the transgressors, and will establish and maintain 
a standard of commercial morality as high as any in 
the world. 

The importance of this subject will be readily appre- 
ciated when the phenomenal strides are considered by 
which Japan is progressing towards the status of a great 
industrial country, selling its manufactures far beyond its 
borders. Osaka, always a busy commercial centre since 
the great Regent Hideyoshi, commonly known as the 
Taiko Santa, made it the seat of his government, in A.D. 
1583, bids fair soon to deserve the name, already applied 
to it, of "the Manchester of Japan." Hundreds of tall 
chimneys stand hard by its many canals, belching forth 


clouds of black smoke to disfigure the fair surroundings, 
and to gladden the hearts of Japanese holders of shares 
in cotton-mills earning, on an average, dividends of twelve 
per cent. When the good Emperor Nintoku, who is said 
to have reigned from A.D. 313 to 399, had, in the kind- 
ness of his heart, remitted all taxation for the space of 
three years, to lighten the burdens of his impoverished 
people, the Civil List was reduced to such a low ebb 
that the rain leaked through the roof of his Palace at 
Naniwa, the modern Osaka, and the sovereign and his 
consort went about in wofully shabby raiment. So out-at- 
elbows did the whole Imperial Court appear, that the 
farmers, beginning to prosper in the absence of taxation, 
respectfully offered voluntary contributions, which the 
Emperor declined with thanks. At last the Empress, 
who had outdone all records of feminine self-sacrifice by 
actually wearing the same dress for three years in suc- 
cession, could bear the strain of Imperial penury no 
longer, and approached the Emperor on the subject, not 
at the hour of curtain-lectures, but at a moment equally 
propitious, in the West, for the discussion of domestic 
economy, and the suggestion of new gowns and other 
urgent necessities at breakfast-time. The Emperor led 
her on to the leaky Palace roof and, by way of reply 
to her representations, pointed to the columns of smoke 
peacefully ascending from the chimneys of his contented 
subjects all over the countryside. Then, being an early 
Japanese Emperor, Nintoku broke into poetry, and com- 
posed the following lines, sung to this day by every 
Japanese man, woman and child, who still bless the name 
of the good Emperor : 

" Takaki ya-ni 
Noborite mireba 
Kemuri tatsu ; 
Tami-no kamado-wa 
Nigiwai-ni kcri." 

Which, being interpreted, means : " Having ascended a 


high place and looking around, lo ! the smoke is rising ; 
the kitchen-hearths of the people are busy." The Sage 
Emperor, as he is called, was happy. Like gallant 
Henry IV. of France, who wanted every family in his 
kingdom to have " a fowl in the pot," Nintoku gauged 
the prosperity of his subjects by the state of their 
larders. But the Empress refused to be comforted by 
the Sovereign's verse. To his assurance that they were 
now prosperous, and that there could be nothing to grieve 
for, she replied : " What dost thou mean by prosperity ? " 
The Emperor answered, saying : " It is, doubtless, when 
the smoke fills the land, and the people freely attain to 
wealth." His Consort retorted, with truly feminine per- 
sistency, by again calling attention to the holes in the 
dilapidated roof, through which the rain dripped on to 
the Imperial bed -quilts. The courtiers caught it in 
troughs, and were obliged constantly to shift their sleep- 
ing-places so as to find a dry spot. At its best, she said, 
the Palace had always been a mere barn, unplastered, 
with rough pillars and rafters, and untrimmed thatch, 
owing to her husband's desire "a fad," we may be sure 
she called it to dispense with the forced labour, usual 
in the erection of Palaces in those times, as he was un- 
willing to call the peasants away from their fields. 
Although neither the Kojiki nor the Nihongi mention 
the fact, we may assume that the Empress ended with 
a renewed appeal for an inspection of her three-year-old 
gown, "absolutely coming to pieces." "Call you this 
prosperity, forsooth ? " she queried. The Emperor gravely 
answered : " When Heaven sets up a Prince in authority, 
it is for the sake of the People. The Prince must, there- 
fore, make the People his first care. For this reason the 
wise sovereigns of antiquity cast the responsibility on 
themselves if a single one amongst their subjects was 
cold and starving. The People's poverty is none other 
than Our poverty ; there is no such thing as the People's 
being prosperous and yet the Ruler in poverty." And 


the Emperor summed up his argument in words tersely 
rendered "by Sir Edwin Arnold in his charming verses 
"The Emperor's Breakfast": 

"Thou and I 

Have part in all the poor folk's health, 
The People's weal makes the King's wealth."* 

Great must be the joy of good Emperor Nintoku's ghost 
if it revisits the land he made happy by his benevolent rule ! 
For smoke curls up in dense clouds from his good City of 
Naniw r a, now the thriving, bustling Osaka, pouring forth 
out of hundreds of chimneys higher by many yards, than 
the upper gallery of his Palace of Takatsu-no-Miya, from 
which he had watched the blue spirals wafted up from the 
cooking-hearths of his happy subjects, and the modern smoke 
means the production of wealth undreamt of in his day. 
The multitude of spindles in the great mills of Osaka are 
spinning Indian cotton into yarn of the coarser " counts/' 
to be used in the country, or exported, either as yarn, or 
woven into cheap fabrics, to China and to Korea. When 
the canal is cut, as it assuredly will be, through the isthmus 
between North and South America, the Japanese mills will 
be able to obtain, rapidly and cheaply, supplies of the " long- 
staple" Sea Island cotton of the Mississippi estuary, and 
will spin and weave the finer "counts" in the production 
of which Lancashire still rules supreme. As it is, the 
Japanese cotton industry, like all other manufactures by 
steam power in Japan, a thing of yesterday's creation, 
flourishes apace. What is needed for the development of 
this, as of Japan's other industries, of her mineral wealth 
and her carrying trade, is the one thing the country cannot 
supply in sufficient quantity Capital, Japan is not a rich 
country in the sense of accumulated wealth, nor is she so 
very poor as many Occidentals have described her. Other- 

* Sir Edwin Arnold, " The Emperor's Breakfast," in Part I. of Pictures 
of Ancient Japanese Histoiy, by T. H. Asso, Chief Inspector of Machinery, 
Imperial Japanese Navy. Tokio, Maruya & Co., 1890. 


wise she could not have waged the costly war with China, 
as she did, without borrowing a single cent beyond her 
frontiers. But for the due development of her natural 
resources, of the abundant wealth latent in her new posses- 
sion, Formosa, and for the most profitable employment of 
her sons' great technical aptitude, and of the patient, skilful 
labour of her masses, she must look to foreign financial 
aid. No more promising field could be found for the in- 
vestment of Occidental capital ; the directions in which 
it could profitably, and safely, be employed are innumer- 

Safety, that is the important consideration in the matter 
of the investment of Western capital in Japanese enterprises, 
and it is the one point on which the Occidental mind is 
not at ease. With curious perverseness, the great bulk of 
Occidental capitalists and investors allow their judgment to 
be warped by the doubts and fears of the very people 
who, claiming to be experts, were so wofully wrong in 
their forecast of the result of the war with China that 
they ought to hide their diminished heads in confusion. It 
is these prophets of evil who discourage the would-be in- 
vestor by their vague hints at the " serious crisis " that, 
according to them, seems to be the normal condition of 
Japanese affairs. It is they who talk, with bated breath, 
of the possibility of a revolution that might sweep away, 
in its blind fury, every vestige of the new civilisation of 
Japan, and who even, in some cases, attribute nefarious 
designs, and the power to execute them, in certain circum- 
stances, to the members of the old ex-feudal nobility, pro- 
bably the quietest and most inoffensive body of aristocrats 
in the world. These doubters are of the kind who pre- 
dicted victory for the rebel forces in SAIGO Takamori's 
great insurrection in Satsuma, in 1877, and were, as usual, 
in error. In spite of the falsification of all their prophecies 
of disaster, they continue to shake their heads ominously 
at every kaleidoscopic change in the composition of the 
Japanese Cabinet, at the resignations, and threats of 


resignation, that fill such a large space in the career 
of high Japanese officials, at every petty squabble in 
the Lower House, at each one of the " deadlocks," the 
blind alleys into which the Parliament at Tokio so often 

The Occidental capitalist notes the opinions of these 
"experts," decides to refrain from risking his money in a 
country offering, apparently, so little security and invests 
his hundreds of thousands in gold-mining ventures that are 
often mere gambling, or in one of the rotten Republics 
that parody civilisation in Central and South America, or, 
perchance, in one of the heavily over-capitalised, strenuously 
"boomed" companies floated, at home, by wily promoters 
and their mercenaries, the "guinea-pig" peers. The small 
investors follow the capitalist's lead, with great danger to 
themselves, for they are, as a rule, unaware that the rich 
man does not intend, as they do, to leave his money per- 
manently at the disposal of the particular enterprise it 
suits him, for the time being, to support. With touching 
confidence they take their cue from the men in whose 
experienced hands they are mere counters in the financial 
game ; the capitalists look with scant favour on the in- 
vestment of their monies in Japanese undertakings, and the 
small fry are not likely to take a different view. Yet the 
day is coming when foreign capital will flow into Japan, 
for the shrewd men of business of the West will inevitably 
penetrate behind the screen of misrepresentation and mis- 
understanding erected by interested, or ignorant, persons ; 
they will see the magic figures 12, 15, even 20, per cent. 
shining alluringly on the horizon, and they may be trusted 
to go in search of the tempting profits with an earnestness 
and a vigour recalling the Quest of the Holy Grail. They 
will have to be prepared to accept Japanese co-operation 
in their enterprises, the natives of the Island Empire being 
haunted by visions of future subjection in that "Bondage 
to the Bondholder " that has played such an important 
part in the history of modern Egypt, and determined not 


to wear the golden chains of financial servitude. It is a 
laudable resolve, but it leads the Japanese to extremes 
of distrust of foreigners. It is difficult to conceive how a 
nation so acute as the Japanese fail to see that their ill- 
concealed fear of foreign domination through close financial 
and commercial intercourse must inevitably lower their 
prestige in the eyes of the world. They are never tired 
of repeating that they are ready to welcome foreign capital, 
but when they are requested to remove some of the restric- 
tions under which its employment would be circumscribed 
they reply that it cannot be done ; they must surround 
themselves with all manner of safeguards, lest they be 
reduced to the servile condition of the Egyptians toujours 
the Egyptians 1 whose country is managed for them, admir- 
ably managed, it is true, but none the less managed by 
aliens. The Japanese who express this view, and they 
are in an overwhelming majority, do not understand that, 
by their argument, they are placing themselves on the same 
moral and intellectual plane as the Fellahin of Egypt, a 
parallel not very flattering to the self-esteem of a proud 

Sooner or later, but, probably, ere long, the Japanese, 
taught in the wholesome school of financial necessity, 
will abandon their absurdly exaggerated fear of Occidental 
absorption " by force of capital," and will admit the foreign 
investor to a share in the proprietorship, and, consequently, 
in the management of the numerous profitable undertak- 
ings requiring capital from abroad. Legislation to this 
end is being framed by some of Japan's wisest minds ; it 
will rest with her ablest, strongest statesmen to get it 
passed in a lucid interval of her Parliamentary debates, 
and to enforce it in the face of much brawling opposition 
by cheap "patriots" and much argument by timorous 
Conservatives of the old school. On one point the 
Japanese ultra-national spirit may be expected to hold 
out for a very long time : the law forbidding the owning 
of land by aliens. The great difficulty in the way of the 


removal of this serious disability is the Japanese prin- 
ciple that the ownership of the land is vested in the 
Emperor, as representing the nation, but this is mere 
theory, as the actual holders of the soil, especially the 
peasants, look upon the acres cultivated by their fore- 
fathers for generations, and for which they pay taxes, as 
absolutely their own. It would be a bold Government 
indeed that attempted to act on the assumption of 
national ownership, and to take the peasant-farmer's land 
from him. The fact that aliens may not own land would 
seem, primd facie, to oppose an almost insurmountable 
obstacle to the investment of foreign capital on a large 
scale, but those behind the scenes in matters Japanese 
know that it is as easy to run a jin-riki-sha through a 
Japanese law as to drive the proverbial ''coach-and-four 
through a British Act of Parliament, and it is an open 
secret that very valuable land is really owned by various 
foreigners in the names of Japanese " men of straw." An 
experienced Japanese lawyer, preferably one who has 
been called to the English bar they are, by this time, 
fairly numerous will, for an appropriate fee, devise the 
necessary safeguards for the interests of any Occidentals 
seriously contemplating investments in Japan, and several 
of the best Banks in the Empire are prepared to do 
the same, all restrictive legislation and Treaties notwith- 

As to the best form the investment of foreign capital 
should take, that can only be ascertained by careful 
enquiries conducted, on the spot, by properly qualified 
investigators, who should possess an intimate acquaintance 
with the country and the people, and, especially, a prac- 
tical knowledge of the language. These qualifications 
apply equally to investigators into the commercial, in- 
dustrial and financial possibilities awaiting Occidental 
enterprise in China and Korea. Here Britons and 
Americans are at once confronted with the unpleasant fact 
that Germans, Frenchmen, Russians, Dutchmen, Italians! 


and even Austrians and Hungarians, are far better 
equipped for the purpose of fruitful investigation, and of 
the ultimate commercial struggle, not only by their superior 
technical training, by the habits of methodical work and 
discipline acquired in their time of military, or naval, ser- 
vice, and by their natural capacity for adapting themselves 
to local conditions and native customs, but by the excel- 
lent facilities for acquiring the languages of the Far East 
provided by their respective Governments. In the English- 
speaking countries, whose Far Eastern interests outweigh 
by far those of all other nations, it is much easier to 
acquire a knowledge of Syriac or of Chaldee than of 
Chinese, Japanese, or Korean. Almost every British, or 
American, school-child can locate the Brook Kedron not 
one in a hundred thousand knows that the Sumida-gawa 
flows through Tokio. 

Although local investigation is absolutely necessary, two 
or three of the most important modes of remunerative em- 
ployment for foreign capital in Japan are at once apparent. 
The fertile Island of Formosa would well repay the efforts 
of the planter of tropical, and sub-tropical, produce. In 
Japan itself, the manufacture of machinery, of machine-tools, 
and of chemical products would, undoubtedly, prove fairly 
remunerative, textile manufactures have proved lucrative, 
the railways are earning satisfactory dividends, the employ- 
ment of electric power for many purposes has reached a 
high degree of development, and the enonnous extent of 
coast-line offers, in its numerous bays and inlets, remarkable 
facilities for the establishment of shipbuilding yards. At a 
meeting of the Japan Society, held on the 8th of May, 
1895, in the Discussion on the excellent Paper on "Japanese 
Shipping," by Francis Elgar, LL.D., F.R.S., late Director 
of Dockyards at the British Admiralty, a member of the 
Society's Council, it was stated by Mr. Martell, the Chief 
Surveyor to Lloyd's Register, that a ship of three thousand 
tons could be built, and well built, in Japan for three 
thousand pounds sterling less a pound sterling a ton 


than in any other country, although the estimate included 
the cost of steel plates imported from England, and of the 
salary of a British engineer to superintend the work.* Since 
Mr. Martell's statement, the ship has been built at the 
great saving he indicated. Shipbuilding and ship-owning 
are amongst the most important enterprises of the present 
and of the future in Japan, a country in every way adapted, 
by its geographical position, its coast-line, its natural pro- 
ducts, and the aptitudes of its population, to develop a 
great carrying trade in the Pacific, and to extend it to 
other seas. The great "Japan Mail Steamship Company" 
(Nippon Yu-scn Kuwaishd) already owns one of the largest 
fleets in the world. The mines of the Japanese Empire, 
producing excellent coal, the best copper in the world, and 
many other minerals, including gold, will, certainly, be 
worked to much greater advantage when Occidental capital 
facilitates more scientific prospecting, the employment of 
the best machinery and modes of treating the ores, and 
the improvement of means of communication. 

If Japan and its dependencies offer a vast field for 
Occidental enterprise, if Korea, with its fertile soil, its 
forests, and especially its undoubted mineral wealth, awaits 
the vivifying influence of foreign capital, how much greater 
is the prospect of remunerative investment offered by the 
huge Empire of China 1 " Prospect " is the right word, for 
we must look far ahead for the time when the Middle 
Empire will absorb millions of Occidental capital and return 
an annual- harvest of thumping dividends. This is not the 
view taken by the public, who, apparently, anticipate that 
Western enterprise, once it has obtained a footing in the 
interior of China, will find that mysterious region a perfect 
commercial Eldorado. Those who hold this comforting 
belief should moderate their sanguine expectations ; their 
children may live to see them realised. Undoubtedly, a 
great deal of money will be made in China, or in supplying 

* Cf. " Transactions and Proceedings of the Japan Society," Vol. III., Part V., 
London, Kegan Paul, Trench, Triibner & Co., Limited, 1897. (Illustrated.) 


the wants of Occidental undertakings in that country, within 
the first quarter of the twentieth century, but, unless the 
unforeseen happens in politics, a great part of such wealth 
will be merely transferred from one set of Occidental pockets 
to another, from shareholders, in the first instance, to 
" Syndicates," and, afterwards, from shareholders to con- 
tractors and employes. 

Whilst I am writing these pages, enquiries, written and 
verbal, pour in upon me, from all sides, as to the value, 
in my opinion, of this or that " Concession," or the prospects 
of this or that "Syndicate." To all I make answer: "The 
Concession in question is worth just as much as the paper 
on which it is written, plus the market value of Chinese 
official autographs, and the price the document might fetch 
as a curiosity, or it may be worth more millions than even 
the sanguine promoters of the ' Syndicate ' have estimated 
in their most hopeful forecast." With this oracular utter- 
ance, I light another cigarette by means of a spill twisted 
out of a strip of newspaper, containing the latest telegrams 
anent "The Far Eastern Crisis," all bearing, directly or 
indirectly, on the prospects of various " Concessions," and I 
return to the writing of this book. But the enquirers are 
not satisfied ; they return to the charge, and clamour to know 
what mystery lurks in that potent " or." And I explain that 
the great "Concession" is to be appraised just according 
to the pressure that its holders can bring to bear on the 
Chinese Government to keep it to the strict fulfilment of 
its engagements. In other words, the value of the " Con- 
cession" depends on the strength and energy, and on the 
willingness to exert them in support of the enterprise, of 
the Government of the State whose subjects hold it. That 
Government must be prepared, if the Concession is to have 
any real value, to enforce its fulfilment " even at the cost of 
war " and war not with China alone, but with the European 
Power, or combination of Powers, that would certainly back 
up China in her resistance moreover, it must be ready to 
undertake, or at least to superintend and protect, the 


reform of Chinese methods of administration, without 
which any Occidental undertaking must prove abortive 
and disastrous. 

The crux of the matter is the difficulty of discovering 
the most potent factors in the Government of China, and 
the best means of coercing them into compliance with the 
terms of the " Concession," and into honest administrative 
methods. For coercion will have to be employed before 
thousands of officials will give up a system that enriches 
them. A few are honest men, sincerely anxious to 
eradicate the cancer of official corruption that is eating 
up the vitals of the Empire, but they are powerless 
against the vast majority, who thrive on ill-gotten 
gains. The support, vi et armis, of the honest few 
against the rascally majority of their colleagues must be 
the first task of any Power that would ensure for its 
subjects the enjoyment of the fruits of the " Concessions " 
they have obtained. 

I have devoted so much space, in former pages of 
this Chapter, to the consideration of commercial conditions 
in New Japan because, in that country, foreign capital 
may be invested with full confidence in the stability of 
the Empire, and in the continuance of the nation in the 
path of social progress and economic development. The 
word " stability " used in connection with modern Japanese 
institutions may cause those to smile who note the 
"quick-change acts" continually performed by the states- 
men of the Island Empire, the rapid shifting of the 
political scenes, the recurring alterations in the names of 
public Departments and in the titles of officials, the hot 
and cold fits that come over the feverish young Parlia- 
ment, so young that it is, naturally, subject to all the 
ailments of childhood. But all these phenomena are mere 
bubbles on the surface of the molten mass that is gradually 
cooling down into a sound, solid, homogeneous whole. 
Who can tell who the real rulers of Japan are ? Cer- 
tainly they are not the clever, energetic men who form 


the Administration. They may decide in matters of detail, 
often invested with undue importance, not only by foreign 
observers, but by the people themselves. Behind the 
administrators is an unseen controlling power that shows 
its supreme wisdom by intervening only in moments of 
grave national import, an irresistible, intangible, unknown 
influence that steps in at the right instant to check 
dangerous impulses, to guide the national policy into safe 
channels, and to bend the popular feeling into concurrence 
with the Imperial Will that gives this beneficent force its 
mighty sanction. As long as this guiding influence pre- 
sides over the destinies of Japan, no serious harm can 
endanger the nation's true welfare, from without or from 
within, the stability of the Empire is assured, and the 
Current of progress must continue to flow. 

Far different is the state of unfortunate China, a prey 
to internal dissensions, arising through the sufferings of 
an oppressed people, and the squabbles and intrigues of 
an official class united, almost to a man, in one respect 
only their determination to enrich themselves by every 
kind of extortion and peculation. Until that class is 
driven from office and replaced by honest, capable adminis- 
trators, dealing justly with the people, no Occidental 
enterprise can prosper within the borders of the huge 
Empire. Until that great regeneration takes place, all 
schemes for material improvements are but the building 
of castles in the air, all talk of profitable railways from 
" Something - king " to " Somewhere - fu " is but mere 
twaddle. Let the holders of brilliant " Concessions " re- 
member by what means those precious documents were 
obtained, and they will be able to gauge the integrity of 
the officials at whose mercy their railways and their 
mines would be worked. It cannot be too often repeated 
that in the early reform of the Government of China 
reform drastic, unhesitating, complete lies the only hope 
of the realisation of the golden dreams of those who 
would derive profit from the development of China. The 


task is beyond the power of private, or corporate, initia- 
tive. A State alone, and a mighty one, can undertake the 
tremendous task, and it can only hope to succeed com- 
pletely by calling in the co-operation of powerful allies. 
The aim is worthy of the effort. Those whose strong 
endeavour is crowned with success will deservedly reap 
the glory and abundance of Almighty Dollars. 



FERVENTLY as we may hope that the problems of the 
Far East will be solved by peaceful means, there seems 
but a faint prospect of these pious aspirations being 
fulfilled. The New Far East was born amidst the thunder 
of battle ; it appears but too probable that a great deal or 
" villainous saltpetre " will be burnt before the countries 
of Eastern Asia subside into conditions offering reason- 
able guarantees of prolonged peace. And it is likely that 
the, almost inevitable, struggle will involve not only 
purely Asiatic Empires, but the great Occidental Powers 
as well, at all events to the extent of that "unofficial 
warfare" that has been so much in vogue, all over the 
world, in the latter half of the nineteenth century a 
kind of "war 'on the cheap'" which, like most things 
attempted on that plan, comes very expensive in the 
long run. 

A glance at a map, showing the enormous coast- 
line of China, the Korean peninsula, and the islands and 
islets, nearly two thousand in number, that compose the 
Japanese Empire, makes it at once evident that the issue 
of any conflict in the Far East must depend on Sea 
Power. In Eastern Asia, as in every other part of the 
world, the country with a great extent of sea-board is 
always at the mercy of any power stronger at sea. 
The Japanese understood this great fact from the 
very inception of their modern navy ; Captain Mahan, 


U.S.N., had no more eager students of his great work on 
Sea Power than the keen sailors of Japan, who took his 
axioms to heart so earnestly that the admirably-planned 
combined naval and military strategy which gave them the 
victory over China might serve as a series of " Practical 
Exercises " in illustration of the American naval author's 
theories. China, too, heard Mahan's message to the 
maritime powers and made efforts, very considerable ones 
for her, to profit by the warning, but she went about it 
in the bad old Chinese way, and the end of the nine- 
teenth century finds her practically without a navy, whilst 
Japan occupies the position of the paramount naval 
power in Eastern Asia. As to Korea, her "Imperial 
Navy" consisted, after the war between Japan and 
China, of a Naval Academy without teaching staff or 
students before the war there had been an attempt, 
under American influence, to organise such an institution 
and of three Admirals, of the Right Wing, Left Wing, 
and Centre respectively, who commanded nothing at all, 
the few small steamships flying the Korean flag being, in 
reality, cargo and passenger-boats. Each Province has, 
traditionally, a fleet for the protection of its coast, the 
Capital having two squadrons allotted to it, but these 
Armadas do not belong to the category of " fleets in 
being." They exist only in the imagination of the 
inventive Yangban who makes out the pay-sheet for the 
remuneration of the three Admirals, who are subject to 
the supreme control of the President of the Board of War. 
Judging from the system in vogue, from time immemorial, 
in the Korean army, it may be assumed that these pay- 
sheets include the names of the whole complement of 
every ship in the various non-existent squadrons. They 
may be skeleton crews of phantom ships, but a dead 
Korean, or even one who never lived, is often counted on 
the " effective strength " in the matter of pay, only his 
Commanding Officer draws it for him, to avoid confusion 
and mistakes. 


In estimating the reasons that place Japan in the 
foremost rank as a naval power in the Northern Pacific, 
other data besides the number and fighting-value of her 
ships, and the efficiency of their officers and crews, must 
be taken into consideration. The organisation for war of 
Japan's naval forces is as nearly perfect as any system, 
planned with the clearest foresight, and carried out with 
minute thoroughness, can be ; the conflict with China put 
it to a severe test, from which it emerged triumphantly. 
To this perfection in organisation must be added the 
possession of several completely-equipped dockyards and 
arsenals in well-fortified positions of great natural 
strength and of the sinews of naval warfare coal. Of 
this essential munition of war Japan possesses an abundant 
supply, of excellent quality, her principal mines being 
most conveniently situated, on the seaboard, thus facili- 
tating rapid coaling. When, on the 3oth December, 1897, 
I was "interviewed" on Far Eastern questions by a 
representative of Reuter's ubiquitous Telegram Agency, I 
laid great stress on the vital importance of this point, 
and many of the newspapers that published the " Inter- 
view" the next morning not without misgivings, I dare 
say, as it contained the apparently incredible statement, 
from my lips, that Britain was likely to occupy Wei-hai- 
wei, on its evacuation by the Japanese, who would be 
found to have acted merely as a "warming-pan" for us 
headed the column with the line : " Mainly a Question 
of Coal." 

At that time, I pointed out, nearly the whole avail- 
able stock of steam-coal in Asiatic waters was in the 
hands of Britain and of Japan. Had hostilities broken 
out in the Far East in the winter of 1897-8, the ships 
of all the other Powers would have been, in a short time, 
at the mercy of the two States that held the coal. Cir- 
cumstances so entirely favourable to them are not likely 
to recur. The countries whose ships were then obliged 
to have recourse to British coaling-stations, wisely clotted 


along the great ocean routes between Europe and the 
Far East, or to the coal-mines of Japan, are now no 
longer entirely dependent on coal stored under foreign, 
and probably unfriendly, flags. Realising the fact that 
their ships moved in Asiatic waters only by the good will 
of Britain and of Japan, and that their communications 
with their Far Eastern dependencies were thus precarious, 
Russia and France had long ago determined on a policy 
that would free them from this disadvantage. Russia 
"marked down" the coalfields of Manchuria and of 
Pe-chi-li as the chief sources of supply for her constantly 
increasing fleet in the Northern Pacific, until such time 
as the Great Siberian Railway's completion would place 
the output of the rich stores of coal, known to exist in 
Siberia, at her disposal. France made great, and successful, 
efforts to develop the coalfields of Tong-king, the chief 
wealth of that costly part of her Indo-Chinese Dominion. 
Germany conceived the plan of securing a foot-hold in 
Shan-tung, a Province reputed to contain coal suitable for 
naval purposes, and cast covetous eyes on Kiao-chau, an 
excellent harbour in that district. The schemes of the 
three Powers were put into execution with determination, 
and with that paramount condition of success : a clear 
knowledge of the object aimed at. Russia, France and 
Germany knew what they wanted and got it. At their 
newly-acquired naval stations in the Far East they are 
accumulating large stores of coal, whilst preparing to 
develop to the fullest extent the mining resources of the 
territories they have so cleverly managed to get under 
their control. Every day brings them nearer to complete 
independence in this vital question of coaling, and, in the 
meantime, Russia is making experiments on a grand scale 
with liquid fuel, obtained from her great oilfields in the 
Baku region, and is causing several of her new warships 
to be fitted with contrivances enabling them to generate 
steam by the combustion either of coal or of mineral 
oil, and in every country of Continental Europe men of 


science are devoting their energies to the development of 
electric motive power, in the fond hope of freeing the 
shipping of their countries from its bondage to coal and 
thus depriving Britain of one of her greatest advantages 
in the struggle for supremacy at sea. 

Meanwhile, " Old King Coal " continues to rule the 
ocean, but his sovereignty in Eastern Asia is no 
longer synonymous with British preponderance. The 
first ten years of the twentieth century will see the 
other European Powers, and a new factor in the 
Far Eastern problem the United States of America 
provided with ample reserves of coal, a great part 
of it drawn from mines under their own flags, stored 
in strongly-fortified harbours at strategical points in 
Eastern Asia. The situation thus created will intensify 
the regret with which patriotic Britons will view the 
policy, if it deserve that name, that allowed precious years 
to be frittered away, during which their country held the 
trump card of the international game. They will look 
back with sorrow to the time when Britain could com- 
mand peace and orderly progress in the Far East by 
simply denying coal to ambitious disturbers and neg- 
lected to make timely use of the enormous advantage 
she enjoyed. \JThe Japanese coal-mines are, of course, 
independent of British control, but it is certain that, in 
case of hostilities, Japan would declare coal to be con- 
traband of war, and would reserve her supplies for the 
needs of her own navy, so that Britain's opponents 
could not reckon upon replenishing their bunkers from 
that quarter.1 

The wisdom that presides over the naval system ot 
Japan is well exemplified in the types of vessels compos- 
ing her fleet. The main idea prevailing in their selection 
is the defence of the national interests by offensive opera- 
tions against the enemy's fleets Nelson's own plan, as 
valid to-day as it was in his time. In the case of Japan, 
these operations are intended to be carried on at no very 


great distance from the base of operations at home, a 
fact that ought to bring comfort to those timid minds that 
are haunted by visions of Japanese squadrons attacking 
Occidental ports, and her warships are, consequently, not 
built for the storage of the large quantities of coal that 
must be carried by vessels intended, like those of the 
British Navy, to fight thousands of miles away from their 
own coasts. Much of the space thus left at the disposal 
of the designers is utilised, to the best advantage, by the 
provision of more guns and of a larger reserve of am- 
munition, all - important considerations in modern naval 
actions, when victory falls to the side that can pour the 
heaviest continuous hail of projectiles on to the enemy. 
The ships, free from the necessity of carrying coal and 
stores for long voyages, can be built comparatively smaller, 
and, therefore, "handier," and require smaller comple- 
ments to work them. In one of the most important 
attributes of modern warships the vessels of the Japanese 
Navy take high rank in the world's fleets they are 
amongst the swiftest of all the fighting ships afloat. And 
they are fighting ships in reality as well as in name, 
owing to the wise system that replaces every ship, the 
moment she begins to fall behind the times, by a fresh 
one, embodying the best "up to date" features that ex- 
perience, and a careful survey of the progress of foreign 
navies, can suggest. In the Japanese " Naval Returns " 
the honest course is pursued of plainly indicating the ships 
that can alone be relied upon to do effective service in 
war; "wash-tubs," "foot-baths," crawling "cruisers," 
" Noah's Ark " battleships, and the rest of the obsolete 
craft that are, in navies that we wot of very near home, 
annually paraded in "Lists of Ships in Commission," 
and patched up and tinkered at great expense, have 
no place amongst the " fighting ships " of Japan. 
They are relegated to the category of ships that can 
"neither fight nor run," and are made to end their 
days in useful, if subordinate, employment, as training- 


ships for Boys and for Cadets, receiving - ships, gun- 
nery and torpedo school - ships, surveying - vessels, 
stationary store -hulks, and for purposes of coast and 

Admirably armed and equipped, kept in the very pink 
of condition their engines, especially, tended with ex- 
treme care the splendid warships of New Japan majestic 
battleships, swift cruisers, "lightning-speed" torpedo-boat 
destroyers, and torpedo-boats all possess a boon precious 
above any advantage of build, of armour, of speed, or of 
artillery : they are manned by officers and crews who 
are sailors, every inch of every one of them ! Not only 
have they proved themselves to be imbued with the 
most ardent patriotism, animated by heroic gallantry, 
capable of chivalry towards fallen foes, endowed with re- 
markable powers of endurance, wonderfully obedient to 
discipline, and skilful to the highest degree in all that 
pertains to modern naval warfare they have shown the 
world repeatedly that they possess, besides all these 
qualities, to be found in the personnel of several other 
navies, that scarcely definable something that makes the 
British sailor the glorious fellow that he is, that something 
that I must call the " Bluejacket Spirit." It is hardly to 
be described in words; object-lessons alone could make 
it manifest. In order to explain it to my non-naval 
Readers, I would have to take them to some great naval 
roadstead in foreign parts, where men-of-war of half a 
dozen nations are lying at anchor, and I would bid them 
watch officers and - men of the various navies at drill 
at gun-drill, boat-drill, small-arms drill, cutlass-drill, gym- 
nastics, torpedo-drill at any of the many exercises that 
fill the life of that "Jack of all Trades," and Master of 
All, the modern man-of-war's man, who is " Sailor and 
Soldier too " (in many navies, including the Japanese, the 
Marines have been abolished, their duties being performed 
by the Bluejackets,) and often engineer, mechanic, and 
electrician besides. Especially should the various ships' 


companies be watched at heavy-gun-drill. Under the 
various flags a general average of excellence will probably 
be found to prevail. In all, or nearly all, the ships' 
batteries one will note the swift execution of commands, 
the steady, mechanical, almost automatic, motions, per- 
formed in silence, that constitute perfect drill. But under 
two ensigns only something far beyond mere precision 
and discipline will be noted, an indescribable spirit that 
rings out in the calm, strong voice of the Officer of 
Quarters, and illumines his keen face, a spirit that shines 
in the eyes of the gun's crew, from the bronzed, bearded 
Petty Officer, the Captain of the Gun, to the rosy-cheeked 
First-Class Boy acting as Extra Powderman. It quivers 
in the strong limbs of the brawny Seamen-Gunners, it is 
in the elastic "skip" of their bare feet, as silent, nimble, 
sure of their work, they serve the huge gun. Under their 
control, the great piece of ordnance, with its complicated 
mechanism, so intricate, yet obedient to a child's touch, 
seems to become a living thing. The contrivances that 
load, and train, the great cannon, that lay, and fire, and 
sponge it, are purely mechanical ; they can be managed 
by any well-trained, intelligent men, but, in order to 
achieve the best results, a dash of the Bluejacket Spirit 
must enter into the composition of the gun's crew. It 
is that animating spirit one finds at work in the men who 
sail under the white ensign of St. George, and in those 
over whom the sun-flag of Japan shakes out its folds in 
the breeze. See those men at any sort of work, afloat 
or ashore, you will find the same alert intelligence, the 
same brisk, unhesitating movements, the same spruce 
appearance, the same pride in their work well done, the 
same "joy of living," of being hale and hearty, smart and 
"fit." Put the Bluejackets of Britain and those of Japan 
to any unusual work, set them to build a landing-stage 
out of spare spars and odds and ends of timber, to throw 
up earthworks, to paint a shed, to work a sewing-machine, 
to tell a tree or to ride a bicycle, to scale a cliff or to 


mind a baby, they will enter upon the unaccustomed 
duty with a rattling, rousing energy, a rapidity of under- 
standing and a handiness in execution, that do one good 
to see. Real live men, and, what is more, real live Blue- 
jackets, the sailors of Britain's Royal Navy, with the 
glorious traditions of centuries to inspire them, and those 
of Japan's brand-new naval service are imbued with the 
spirit I have attempted to describe. And of such is the 
Kingdom of the Sea.* 

[Japan possesses all the elements of Sea-Power : swift, 
powerful ships, adapted to the work they are intended for, 
numerous good harbours, excellent coal in abundance, 
capital facilities for the repair of her vessels, and the 
necessary plant, constantly augmented and improved, for 
building new ones. I Her naval organisation is wise and 
efficient, her administrative services are thorough and 
honest; her naval officers are gallant, dashing, and scien- 
tifically trained, and the armament they control is of 
the latest and best pattern. ("Strong in ships, strong 
in guns, Japan is stronger stm in the factor without 
which ships and guns are useless "the Man behind the 

Tfie careful forethought, the adaptation of means to 
the end to be achieved, the study of minute details, and 

* The " Bluejacket Spirit " may also be observed, in full activity, in the 
crews of United States warships, especially of those having a large infusion 
of the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic element, either American-born, or imported, by 
expiration of service, or by the quicker way of desertion, from the British 
Royal Navy. American Naval Officers, who are, by their gallantry and 
technical skill, as well as by their kindly courtesy, an honour to the naval 
profession, are apt to be rather sensitive on this point. They will assure you 
that their splendid men are Americans. " Why, certainly ! That Signalman 
hails from New York. The Quartermaster over there is a Philadelphian ; 
every man has the State he belongs to entered against his name on enrolment. 
That Gunner's Mate very like a Seaman-Gunner you were shipmate with, 
years ago, in H.M.S. Goshawk ? Impossible ; he is entered in the ship's 
books as from New Jersey! " But there is a twinkle in the Gunner's Mate's 
bright eyes, and the soft accent of the old " West Country " round about 
" Plymouth, Eng.," is perceptible through the twang acquired under the Stars 
and Stripes. Recruiting officers at Brooklyn Navy Yard, as elsewhere, do not 
waste time in investigating a smart man's statements as to his nationality. 


the general earnestness and thoroughness that distinguish 
the organisation of the Japanese Navy, the absolute 
efficiency of which reflects the highest honour on the 
British Naval Advisers and Instructors, and the French 
Naval Constructors and Engineers, who nursed it through 
its infancy, are equally evident in the military system of 
Japan. The history of the war with China, in 1894-5, 
is one long chain of instances of the efficiency of the 
Japanese land and sea forces, co-operating with such 
complete unity of purpose and direction that it is difficult 
to determine which of the two services deserves the 
higher praise. This much is certain, that the lessons 
learnt from the foreign Instructors who guided the first 
steps of the Army of New Japan British officers at the 
very outset, then, for a number of years, a French Mission 
Militaire, Italian artillerists in the gun-foundry at Osaka, 
and, lastly, German Military Advisers have been turned 
to the best advantage. Japan possesses not only the 
most powerful navy in Eastern waters, but also the 
most formidable mobile land force in the Far East, indeed 
in the whole of Asia, if we take into consideration the 
circumstances that render the continual presence in India 
of a large British garrison, both European and Native, 
necessary, and therefore immobilise the greater part of what 
would otherwise be the strongest army east of the Red 
Sea. I purposely lay stress on the mobility of the Japanese 
army, and upon the fact of the greater portion of the 
British army in India, including the native troops, being 
required permanently in that Empire and on its frontiers, 
because therein lie considerations of the utmost importance 
in the solution of the problems of the Far East. Japan 
can, when her interests demand it, land a couple of Army 
Corps, each thirty thousand strong, perfectly armed and 
equipped, on the mainland of Asia within three weeks of 
the issue of the order to "Mobilise," and, thanks to her 
insular position, to her trained reserves at home, and to 
her efficient navy, she can do this without exposing her 


coasts to the risk of successful invasion, and in the 
confident knowledge that, holding command of the com- 
paratively narrow seas between her shores and the con- 
tinent, her lines of communication with the expeditionary 
corps would remain secure, unless her opponent happened 
to be a naval power of the first rank, possessing dockyards 
and reserves of coal in Eastern Asia. 

With what skill this force would be directed, how 
accurately the co-operation of its various units would be 
timed, how smoothly the Commissariat and Medical Services 
would work, how gallantly the highly-trained officers and 
the docile, hardy rank and file would fight, all this admits 
of no doubt in the minds of the military experts who have 
studied the performance of the Japanese army in the war 
with China. Of course, if arrayed against an enemy more 
formidable than the Chinese, the army of Japan could 
scarcely be expected to obtain such overwhelming results 
with such slight losses, but it would, undoubtedly, give an 
excellent account of itself in the face of any foe, however 
formidable, and it looks forward to the possibility, nay, to 
the probability, of such a conflict with perfect confidence ; 
not in a spirit of overweening conceit and of depreciation 
of its likely opponents, but with a firm belief in the capacity 
of its leaders, the efficiency of its organisation and the skill 
and gallantry of its men. The military leaders of Japan 
are well aware that there is no finality in matters pertaining 
to the art of war, and they are continually striving to 
perfect the admirable fighting-machine they have created. 
They are, especially, devoting their attention to the increase 
and improvement of the Cavalry, numerically the weakest 
arm in a mountainous island country, breeding small horses 
(ponies, rather, notorious for their vicious propensities) 
and affording scant space for the manoeuvres of mounted 
troops, even in the plains, owing to their being intersected, 
over large areas, by the innumerable channels for the irri- 
gation of the rice-fields, and the narrow, raised causeways 
between the plots. 


The importance of the Japanese army as a thoroughly 
efficient, " up-to-date " force, comparing favourabty, in every- 
thing but numbers, with the great armies of Continental 
Europe, is now well understood by Occidentals. The 
" Fighting Power," on land, of the Chinese Empire is, 
on the contrary, the subject of much discussion even 
amongst those who know the country and the people, 
and is, naturalty, a mystery to the general public. The 
general impression is that the Chinese are arrant cowards, 
an idea strengthened by the unanimity with which large 
bodies of " Braves " fled, panic-stricken, on many occasions 
during the war with Japan, abandoning strong positions 
almost without firing a shot at the enerrty, often numerically 
inferior, and by the excess of prudence, to use no stronger 
term, that caused certain Chinese Captains, at the battle 
off the Yalu, to take their ships out of harm's way early 
in the action. The Military Mandarins directing their 
troops from a dignified seat, placed in a sheltered spot well 
in rear of the fighting line ; the Chinese Cavalry who rode 
into action at Ping-yang under umbrellas of yellow oiled 
paper, fanning themselves vigorously, whilst servants brought 
up the rear, carrying the troopers' Winchester repeating 
carbines; the General who, after the crushing defeat at 
that place, begged the Japanese Commander-in-Chief to 
allow him another twelve hours' respite "as it would be 
so inconvenient to surrender in the rain, and the weather 
might clear by the morrow ; " the Tao-tai of Wei-hai-wei, 
Niu Chang-ping, who, at the capitulation of that fortress 
and of the fleet under its guns, requested Admiral I to to be 
good enough to return the warship Kuang-ping, "because 
she really belonged to the Squadron of the Viceroy of 
Kwang-tung (Canton), who had nothing to do with the 
war," and, if she were kept by the Japanese, he, the 
Tao-tai, "would have no excuse to offer to the aforesaid 
Viceroy ; " perhaps the Japanese Admiral, sympathising 
with Niu in his trouble, would kindly return her hull, 
keeping her armament ; the Viceroy would not " look-see " 


too closely, and no awkward questions would be asked ! 
All these grotesque incidents of the war, and many more, 
as well as other manifestations of pigtailed pig-headedness 
following immediately after that grand, but wasted, object- 
lesson, made a deep impression on the Western mind. Of 
the follies perpetrated after the war, the following is a 
typical specimen : On the 24th of August, 1896, the 
Peking Gazette published a Report by His Excellency 
TSENG Ch'i, Tartar General and Military Governor of Hei- 
lung-chiang, which gives an excellent insight into the work- 
ing of the Celestial official and military mind. The Report 
begins with remarks on the futility of the antiquated arma- 
ment bows and arrows and old fashioned muskets of 
eleven thousand out of the eighteen thousand Tartar troops, 
officered by Manchus, under his command (the remainder 
were armed with "up to date" Mauser rifles). The 
General's condemnation of the old-fashioned arms as " worse 
than useless in actual warfare," and his fulminations against 
their use as "like child's play .... good enough against 
Nien-fei, Red Turbans, and other rebels, but useless against 
foreign troops " (the Japanese) " armed with most superior 
weapons, that sent their bullets to a considerable distance" 
(one is irresistibly reminded of the Curate's threatened 
"really hard knock" in The Private Secretary?) might 
emanate from an earnest military reformer. They inspire 
a feeling of hopefulness in the future of an Empire whose 
military leaders begin to see the error of their old 
ways, but this feeling is soon dispelled, for in the 
next few sentences General TSENG Ch'i expresses the 
fear that the arming of all his troops with "new far- 
carrying rifles" would not be feasible, because, as he 
plaintively remarks, "the exchequer is too empty to pay 
the cost." 

However, the gallant and ingenious Tartar General 
devised a remedy for the absurdly inadequate armament 
of his men. After delivering an address on the subject to 
the Manchu officers under his command, he "proposed to 


them" I am quoting the Peking Gazette "to use the 
t'ai-tsiang, or two-men 'gingal,' apportioning three men 
to each gun, i.e., one man to cany the gun at the muzzle " 
(letting it rest on his shoulder, presumably,) "one man 
to fire it, and a third with the ammunition and armed 
with a sword to guard the other two while at work. As 
the ' gingals ' now lying in the Tsi-tsi-har Arsenal are of 
the old-fashioned make, which require the lighted rope 
fuse, and are, therefore, useless in rainy weather, Memo- 
rialist" (that is, General Ts6ng, reporting to the Throne,) 
" proposed to manufacture new fai-t'siang, after the 
Kiang-su pattern, loading by the breech with cartridge. 
This innovation being unanimously approved of by the 
said Manchu Commandants, Memorialist would now ask 
the consent of the Throne to arm the troops of the Hei- 
lung-chiang with the t'ai-fsiang, and proposes to raise the 
funds necessary for manufacturing them and the ammuni- 
tion required for them." Thus far the Report in the 
Peking Gazette, which remains ominously silent as to 
the ways and means the General proposed to adopt 
in order "to raise the funds necessary for manu- 
facturing." A very slight effort of the imaginative 
faculty enables one to form an idea of their nature. 
The Report was laid at the foot of the Throne, and 
the Imperial Rescript thereon consists of the one word : 
"Noted." ' W j 

The occupant of the Dragon Throne "noted" the 
scheme of reform in armament evolved from the fertile, 
and very Chinese, brain of General Tseng ; the Occident 
noted many similar instances of Celestial military inepti- 
tude, adding them to its previous knowledge of Chinese 
timorousness in the field, and was more than ever con- 
vinced of the unfitness of the Chinese for war. So general 
did this conviction become that it caused Occidentals to 
forget the desperate resistance offered by Chinese troops 
on several occasions during the war with Japan, especially, 
it is true, when they were in some "tight place," whence 


flight was impossible. It made them overlook the gallant 
conduct of General Tso Pao-kwei, who fell at Ping- 
yang, killed by the third bullet that struck him, whilst 
cheering on his men, and the stout defence of Wei-hai-wei 
by the heroic Admiral Ting. Little was known in the 
West of the valour displayed by many Chinese sailors at 
the battle off the Yalu, when the crews of some of the 
Celestial battleships were, in their ardour, fighting with 
one another at the ammunition hoists for supplies of 
projectiles and cartridges for their respective guns. In- 
dividual acts of courage disappeared in the midst of the 
general debacle of cowardice, corruption and imbecility, 
and the popular feeling of the West towards China's 
fighting power, at the close of the war, was one of well- 
justified contempt. 

With that strange inconsistency that frequently charac- 
terises it, British public opinion, having pronounced the 
Chinese to be arrant cowards, began immediately to form 
plans for a brilliant era of progress and prosperity in China, 
to be secured by a powerful defensive force, on sea and land, 
composed of those very men whose lack of courage had 
been so bitterly derided. What magician was expected to 
transform them, by a wave of his wand, from an un- 
warlike rabble into capable, brave soldiers and sailors ? 
The British Officer was nay, is, for the belief is still 
widely prevalent the wizard credited with such super- 
human powers. If anyone ventured to call these powers 
in question, he was triumphantly referred to " Chinese 
Gordon " and his " Ever- victorious Army." Now, far be 
it from me to write a single word that might appear to 
be intended to minimise the grand achievements in China 
of that pure-hearted hero, but, surely, his glory is suffi- 
ciently great to be able to dispense with the halo of 
exaggeration which has formed round the story of his 
exploits in the Celestial Empire. Dispassionately con- 
sidered, his great work in China amounts to this, that he 
formed, trained and led a force of native soldiers with 
which he completely defeated the Tai-ping rebels, who 


had overrun some of the fairest provinces, and had shaken 
the Empire to its very foundations. But it must not be 
forgotten that his opponents were a mere horde of badly- 
armed, worse-equipped, peasants and "coolies," without 
drill or organisation. They had degenerated, in the course 
of nearly fourteen years of civil war, from a band of 
enthusiasts inspired partly by racial feeling against the 
Manchu dynasty, partly by discontent at the appalling 
misgovernment, partly by religious mysticism, a sort of 
ill-digested rudimentary Christianit)?', that developed into 
a travesty of the Faith, comparable to the Hau-hau 
"religion" of the Maori insurgents, in New Zealand, in 
the 'sixties from the nearest approach to an army of 
patriots that China had seen for two centuries, to an 
immense horde of robbers. Moreover, the vast majority 
of the population, who had sided with them, in the 
beginning, in all the districts they conquered, had become 
heartily sick of the degenerate Tai-ping " liberators/' 
their plundering and their atrocious cruelties, and, con- 
sequently, afforded all possible aid to the Imperial troops. 
In these circumstances, and against such foes brave, 
without doubt, but absolute 1 }' without organisation or 
plans the European weapons, drill, discipline (such as it 
was,) and tactics introduced by Gordon could not but 
prevail, but the force he had created would, had it been 
pitted against the army of even a small European state, 
have speedily lost its claim to the proud title of " Ever- 
victorious." The error into which the British public 
fell in estimating the value of Gordon's "Army" is again 
prevalent whenever the question of the reorganisation of 
China's Fighting Power is discussed. 

That British officers would rapidly convert the Chinese 
armed rabble into the semblance of an army admits of 
no doubt. The result of the untiring efforts of the 
numerous German Instructors formerly in the pay of some 
of the Viceroys, and of the British Instructors at one time 
employed to train the personnel of the navy, proves that 
the Chinese readily acquire the rudiments of the naval 


and military arts, but it also shows that they can very 
seldom proceed beyond the elementary stages. They 
easily learn the drill necessary for the performance of 
simple evolutions, they acquire the manual, firing, and 
bayonet exercises in a relatively short time, they can be 
trained, without any great difficulty, to serve the most 
modern types of guns, and to use torpedos, but they do 
it all in a purely mechanical way, correctly enough, but 
"woodenly." Their hearts are not in the work. They 
obey the foreign Instructor not always with a good 
grace they repose in him a relative confidence rarely 
accorded to any of their officers of their own race ; 
they will follow him into action if they must ; they 
will even, under his command, quit themselves credit- 
ably in the fight, but only creditably. They may 
respect their Occidental leader, they do not love him ; 
he ever remains, in their eyes, the tiresome pedant who 
is so absurdly particular in matters of detail ; who insists, 
for instance, on the screwing up, or down, of the sights 
on a heavy gun, and on the judging of distances to some- 
thing more accurate than a // or two, who " fusses " about 
a missing machine-gun, and actually will have guns and 
rifles cleaned that must, inevitably, become dirty again 
when they are fired. They humour his curious whims in 
order to escape punishment, but the spirit of emulation is 
not in them. Train them, drill them, arm them as you 
will, put them into uniform, stiffen their backs and ex- 
pand their chests, teach them to march, to ride, to shoot 
they will remain a mere collection of armed men, not 
an army. Unwarlike in temperament, inwardly despising 
their profession, themselves despised by their civilian com- 
patriots for following it, they will never be fit to stand 
up against Occidental troops until their national character 
has undergone a complete change. When the science of 
war has been studied by a future generation of Chinese 
native officers, of higher character than those hitherto 
employed, when the navy and the army become " respect- 
able " services in the eyes of the people, above all, when 


the naval and military administration is cleansed of the 
corruption and jobbery that reign supreme then the 
British Instructor may convert all the excellent physical 
material handed over to him the endurance and the 
strength, accompanied by wonderful patience and cheer- 
fulness into a real Navy, into a real Army, worthy of 
the name. For the present, and for a long time to come, 
China cannot produce Fighting Power, by sea or land, that 
could, even under the tuition of the wonder-working 
British Oflicer, successfully resist the forces either of her 
strong neighbours, Russia or Japan, could array against 
her. The fact is a disappointing one for Britain ; it would 
be so convenient if a new Chinese Navy built, of course, 
in the United Kingdom, provided with British officers 
"lent" by the Admiralty, and receiving thumping salaries 
from China, and commanded by that most genial and 
breezy of Commercial Travellers, " our Lord Charles Beres- 
ford," with a still more thumping salary if such a navy, 
in conjunction with a reorganised Chinese Army, officered, 
in the higher ranks, by scores of British officers, " seconded" 
from their regiments, or on half-pay, or even " retired," 
and of others, perchance, from the Militia, but all in 
receipt of handsome pay and "allowances" from the 
Chinese exchequer could overawe Russia in the Far East 
and keep her peacefully within her borders ! It is a 
pleasant dream, nothing more. China cannot, under her 
present misrule, afford the luxury of such forces. Even 
if she could, their existence would, indeed, be bighty 
obnoxious to Russia, and to her friends, but it would not 
terrify them in the least. They would increase their 
armaments, and continue to pursue their policy undis- 
turbed. Russia knows the Chinese so thoroughly that she 
has no dread of Celestial forces, even if commanded by 
British officers. 

Although Russia has so accurately gauged the military 
inefficiency of the Chinese, she has taken steps to pro- 
vide herself, in the future, with a large, and practically 
inexhaustible, force of Chinese soldiers, trained and com- 


manded by Muscovite officers. One of the first outward 
and visible signs of the supremacy of Russian influence in 
China was the arrival at Peking, about the time of the 
occupation of Port Arthur by the Tsar's troops, of a 
Colonel of the Russian Staff, to take up the position of 
Military Adviser to the Chinese Government. The gallant 
Palkovnik proceeded at once to take charge of the in- 
struction of the large force of sturdy Northern Chinese 
and hardy Hu-nan men the "fighting cocks" of China 
assembled in entrenched camps in the region round Peking, 
and appears to have then become engulphed in space. 
At all events, but vague rumours of his whereabouts have 
since reached the outer world. Enquiring tourists are 
not encouraged in the vicinity of any spot where Russia's 
plans are being carried out, until the execution of the 
schemes devised in St. Petersburg has become an accom- 
plished fact, not to be upset by any amount of descriptive 
reporting, nor by a hail of "paper bullets" from the 
British press. I happen to know that the Russian Military 
Adviser and his Staff of Instructors are carrying on their 
work unremittingly, and I venture to predict that they 
will achieve success. Half-Asiatic themselves, the Russians 
have a remarkable facility for understanding the character 
of the Chinese people, with whom they easily ingratiate 
themselves. The Chinese soldier finds in the Russian an 
officer whom he understands, and the feeling that springs 
up between them is far nearer to the ideal relation 
between the officer and his men so tersely laid down 
by the great Skobeleff: "a father to the Privates, an 
elder brother to the Non - Commissioned Officers" than 
could ever be the case were the Chinese under British 
leaders, who appear to them a strange, uncanny race, 
whose motives and customs, whose very amusements, are 
beyond Celestial comprehension. Gradually, and surely, 
Russia is training for her own purposes a Chinese army, 
instructed, at no cost to China, by Russian officers, a force 
that is destined to play a great part in the future history 
of Asia. It will, we may be sure, be practically trained 


to fit it for the end in view ; not for a contest with 
Occidental troops the Russians know their Chinese allies, 
or, rather, vassals, too well for that risky experiment 
but to overawe those amongst the Chinese who, feeling 
the promptings of the spirit of reform, might attempt to 
break the fetters that Russia is helping to rivet more 
tightly, and for garrison and police duties in the occupied 
territories, and along Russia's enormously extended lines 
of communication overland, thus freeing many thousands 
of Russian troops for that struggle against white men that 
Chinese soldiers would be unequal to. For the purposes 
indicated, Chinese troops, trained and commanded by 
Russians, would be perfectly serviceable. 

There is another nation, a Far. Eastern one, that is 
called upon by its manifest destiny to play a great part 
in the reorganisation of China's Fighting Power by sea and 
land. Several Japanese officers have already been engaged 
by the Viceroy of Hu-nan, the most anti-foreign Province, 
as Military Instructors, and more will follow. The Japanese 
have everything in their favour, as compared even with 
the Russians, in the competition for the creation of new, 
and real, naval and military forces in China. Their 
officers, accustomed to a veiy moderate scale of pay, and 
of living, will make but slight demands on the impover- 
ished Chinese exchequer ; they understand the Chinese 
nature as no Occidental can, and they enjoy the inesti- 
mable advantage of being able to convey their meaning, by 
means of a few strokes of a pencil, to any Chinese able 
to read his own language. Moreover, the Chinese have 
good reason to respect the prowess of the Japanese. A 
Chinese navy and a Chinese army, trained and led by 
Japanese truly, the forecast is calculated to give cause 
for grave reflection ! And its fulfilment is within the 
bounds of probability, in spite of Russia's efforts, and of 
Palace Revolutions and other "alarums and excursions." 
But the time is not yet, and, meanwhile, the Fighting 
Power, by sea and land, of the Far Eastern Empires is 
summed up in one word Japan. 



THE first illustration to this Chapter boasts of high parent- 
age. It is a reproduction of the allegorical drawing, by 
Professor H. Knackfuss, from a design due to the pencil of 
His Majesty William the Second, German Emperor and 
King of Prussia the famous Kaiserbild that caused such 
a sensation, throughout the world, on its production in 
1895, a sensation heightened when the original was sent 
to St. Petersburg, as a gift from its Imperial designer to 
the Tsar. " Les petits cadeaux entretiennent I'amitie" and 
His Germanic Majesty was, at that time, particularly 
anxious to assure his powerful neighbour of the warmth 
and sincerity of his friendship. In order to prove his 
desire for that good understanding with Russia that was 
ever a cardinal point in Bismarck's policy, and to take 
another step towards that reconciliation with France which 
it is the Emperor's laudable ambition to achieve, in order, 
besides, to obtain a triumph over British diplomacy and 
prestige in the Far East that would earn plaudits from 
the Anglophobe majority of his subjects, Kaiser Wilhelm 
had just joined Russia and France in bullying Japan out 
of the Liao-tung Peninsula, now in Russian hands. This 
extraordinary reversal of Germany's policy of intimate 
friendship with Japan a policy pursued for many years, 
right up to the close of the war with China, with the most 
beneficial results for German trade was put down, by the 
world at large, to a coup de tete of the preternaturally 


active young monarch. Some, with a certain claim to 
being behind the scenes, ascribed the sudden change of 
front to the influence of Herr von Brandt, a clever 
diplomatist who had represented Germany for years at the 
Courts of Peking and of Tokio, and had made himself 
conspicuous at both by the energy with which he " pushed " 
the commercial interests of his country, especially in the 
matter of government contracts tendered for by compatriots. 
In accordance with the good old Prussian custom, when- 
ever any subject becomes of great importance to the 
German Empire the Sovereign summons those who are 
reputed to have particular knowledge of the question, and 
hears from them "verbal reports," intended to inform the 
Imperial mind a practice that might be imitated, with 
advantage, nearer home. It was alleged, in 1895, that on 
the occasion of Herr von Brandt's audience, to which he 
was summoned immediately after the original Japanese 
terms of peace became known, he drew such an appalling 
picture of the danger Europe would incur if Japan were 
allowed to obtain a footing on the mainland of Asia that 
the Emperor resolved to reverse his Asiatic policy, and to 
join Russia and France in coercing Japan. It is an interest- 
ing story, this, of the "expert" setting forth his views 
so eloquently as to infect the monarch with the "Yellow 
Fever" that has periodically attacked Occidental thinkers 
ever since the publication of the late Dr. C. H. Pearson's re- 
markable work, National Life and Character : a Forecast, 
but it makes too great a demand on our credulity. 

The German Emperor is known to be frequently 
swayed by sudden impulse, but we may be sure that, in 
a matter of such moment as the policy of Germany in the 
Far East, he would not have lightly jeopardised the 
rising commerce of his subjects with Japan, nor the para- 
mount influence Germany had obtained in that country, 
without grave cause. Great as Germany's interests in 
the Far East undoubtedly are, her chief concern must be 
her position towards her powerful neighbours in Europe. 


Russia's traditional policy in Eastern Asia was approach- 
ing fruition, the Japanese victories over China had 
"forced" the fruit so rapidly that the Chinese pear, pre- 
maturely ripe, was on the point of falling into the lap, not 
of the patient Muscovite, who had waited for it so long, 
but into that of the unexpected new-comer, Japan. 
Russia had to act quickly, in order to warn off the 
intruder and to spread her own apron under the tree. 
She inaugurated the " Intervention of the Powers " ; her 
bond slave, France, had to follow suit. Britain, to her 
everlasting honour, and ultimate profit, refused to be a 
party to the dirty trick, for such it was, that deprived 
Japan of her lawful, and dearly-bought, spoils in order to 
hand them over to Russia. Germany knew all along what 
aims Russia was pursuing. She was well aware that 
Japan would not be allowed to keep the most important 
fruits of her victor} 7 , and if she showed ostentatious sym- 
pathy, during the war, with the Japanese, whom she 
looked upon as her pupils in military science, "show- 
pupils," too, Germany, or, at all events, her statesmen, 
did not hesitate to throw over Japan the moment it 
became necessaiy to propitiate Russia. The German 
Emperor, therefore, when he joined the intervening 
powers, forming, in Asia, a new, and apparently un- 
natural, Triple Alliance, acted in accordance with the 
dictates of a cool, calculating policy, leading, in the first 
place, to a cordial understanding with Russia, in the near 
future, to territorial acquisition in China (the Kiao-chau 
coup was not quite the unpremeditated affair the general 
public believed it to be,) and, ultimately, to the detriment 
of Britain all things devoutly wished for, especially the 
last, by the great majority of Germans. 

Having openly cast in his lot, at the proper time, 
with Russia and France in the Far East, the German 
Emperor was in need of a justification, especially in the 
eyes of his bewildered subjects, up to that time so 
enthusiastic for the cause of Japan. As they read the 


startling news of the New Triple Alliance, the good 
Germans shook their heads, and muttered into their 
beer-glasses not too loudly, for like the " bhoys " of 
" Slattery's Mounted Foot," renowned in song, they are 

fond of 

" Playing rebel tunes 
Cautiously on the dhrum." 

And their muttering was to the effect that this was 
another of their Emperor's playful ways of startling the 
world " wieder em Kaiserstreich / " Some went so far 
as to show one another, in corners, a pamphlet entitled 
Caligula, a learned and laboured classical joke, chuckling 
over its pages until the shadow of a passing Schutzmann 
sent them, hurriedly and with beating hearts, in different 
directions. The public opinion of German)?- had to be 
brought into line with the Imperial policy ; what better 
argument could be employed for this end than that of fear ? 
The dissatisfied must be brought to recognise that their 
Sovereign's wisdom had saved the nation from imminent 
danger so the " Yellow Peril " bogey was brought out 
and plainly exhibited, like a yokel's turnip-and-sheet 
"ghost," to scare the lieges. This artifice of state-craft 
was admirably suited both to the German national 
character, predisposed to take a deep interest in great 
racial problems, to be worked out in the distant future 
a period the matter-of-fact Briton, constitutionally averse 
to looking beyond the tip of his nose, leaves to take care 
of itself and to the Kaiser's idiosyncrasy. To pose as 
the Saviour of Christendom from the impending Yellow 
Peril is an attitude that commends itself strongly to the 
Emperor's highly-developed dramatic instinct. From th.3 
moment he adopted it a process, not infrequent with him, 
commenced in his impressionable mind, by which he 
rapidly persuaded himself that he actually was the Cham- 
pion of Christendom against the caitiff Paynim. 

Under the influence of this belief, a sincere one, for 
no one can justly accuse him of insincerity in any of 


his actions, the Kaiser designed the drawing he com- 
missioned Professor Knackfuss to carry out, the striking 
pictorial allegory reproduced, by special permission, as 
an illustration to this Chapter. Its authorship, the gracious 
manner in which permission to use it was, unhesitatingly, 
granted, and, above all, the fact that the fee charged for 
the permission was contributed, by His Majesty's desire, 
to a charitable institution enjoying the Imperial patronage, 
forbid any criticism of the artistic qualities of the famous 
drawing, but an examination of the meaning it is intended 
to convey throws a strong light on the Kaiser's position 
towards Far Eastern affairs. There is more in the picture 
than meets the eye. 

On the brow of a high cliff stands an Archangel, 
probably Michael, the namesake, and patron, of that 
deutscher Michel typical of the Teuton as John Bull is 
of the Englishman who, as was proclaimed in one of 
the Kaiser's famous oratorical outbursts, has planted his 
shield firmly on Chinese soil. With flaming sword in 
hand, the Archangel is exhorting a group of female per- 
sonifications of the principal nations of Europe, and point- 
ing towards the approaching Peril, separated from them 
by a river, unspecified, but presumably the Danube, 
flowing, with a great bend, through the valley far below. 
Germany, tall and buxom all the ladies are of the well- 
nourished type dear to the allegorical artists of the 
Fatherland the eagle with open wings on her helmet 
recalling the headgear of the Kaiser's own magnificent 
Gardes dn Corps, leans forward, eagerly listening to the 
archangelic summons to arms. Clad in a coat of mail, 
but gloveless her fists unmailed with drawn sword, and 
grasping her shield, she is evidently "spoiling for a fight." 
Somebody must have said "Kiao-chau." 

Russia, in Scythian scale-armour, avoids being mistaken 
for an armadillo, or, rather, a pangolin, by wearing an ap- 
propriate bear's skin on her head and back. Armed 
with the Cossack lance, she leans, in touching amity, on 


Germania's shoulder, a sight so irritating to France, carrying 
a pike, and wearing the Phrygian cap of the Republic, 
that she Gallia absolutely refuses to look again in their 
direction, but prefers to gaze at the Peril. France shades 
her bright eyes with her hand; at least, that is her 
apparent attitude. Personally, I fancy she is arranging 
her " fringe," disturbed by the wind on that bleak, 
Gustave Dore-esque cliff. For it is a male Peril that 

In the second rank, Austria, her corselet blazoned 
with the double-headed eagle, appears unarmed, a poor 
compliment, on the part of the Imperial artist, to the 
army of his most trusted ally ; perhaps a gentle hint 
that the said heterogeneous force might, with advantage, 
be strengthened and generally improved. Hungary is 
absent; probably, the Asiatic origin of the Magyars, 
their cousinship, albeit many times removed, to the 
Peril, made it seem unadvisable to invite Pannonia to 
ascend the cliff. She might, very likely, have " had 
words" with Russia, or might have quarrelled with 
Austria and dissolved partnership with her there and 
then. Austria's attitude amongst the group is remarkable. 
She holds Britannia's irresolute hand by the wrist, to 
feel if her cold blood yet pulsates, and is evidently urging 
her to make up her mind and to join the League. 
Britannia, our own beautiful, familiar Britannia, has 
stepped straight off our handsome bronze coinage we 
now see it was not a bicycle but a shield that she had 
been seated on but she carries a spear, instead of her 
usual trident. Where is that symbol of maritime su- 
premacy ? Can it be that its presence would have 
reminded Germania too painfully of certain aspirations 
so difficult to realise, of warships painfully "crawling" 
Eastwards, and of a certain grand National Subscription 
for the Building of Battleships and Cruisers, that pro- 
duced 79 105. $d. in the course of a single fortnight ? 

Britannia wavers ; her lovely face a reminiscence, 


may-be, of sweet English girls seen at Cowes is pensive. 
She knows that Peril well, you see ; she has done a 
good deal of business with him in the past, and, naturally, 
feels reluctant to use her spear against an old and valued 
customer. So Austria has been deputed to persuade her; 
strangely enough, for Austria, who has earned the nick- 
name of "the China of Europe," has, practically, almost 
no interests in the Far East. Here again, the picture 
speaks clearly to the few who know that, on more than 
one occasion, to Austria has the task been allotted ot 
approaching Britain on subjects of prime interest to the 
Triple Alliance, and especially to the " predominant 
partner," Germany. Italy stands next to Britannia, bare- 
headed, clad in a Roman corselet, her Legionary's sword 
sheathed by her side, perhaps an allusion to the nicks 
chipped on its edge, blunted on Abyssinian steel on the 
fateful day of Adowa. Last of all stand two more typical 
figures, , one perhaps Portugal almost entirely hidden, 
clasping the hand of another whom we see plainly, and 
who may be Spain, carrying two javelins. Judging by the 
revelations of the war with the United States, their points 
are probably of tin. It is noticeable that America is not 
represented. She was evidently, at the time, still clad 
in that Monroe gown, so old-fashioned that she could 
not think of appearing in it before all those smartly- 
dressed ladies. In the heavens the Cross is shining above 
the group, its radiance forming a St. Andrew's Cross, the 
badge of Russia, the instrument of the martyrdom of one 
of her Patron Saints. 

And the Peril ? He is approaching, in the midst of a 
fiery glory, bursting through a storm-cloud, seated on a 
dragon, an unmistakable Far Eastern dragon, the cloud 
itself rising from the flames of a burning city. The dragon 
seems an ill-chosen mount for a conquering Mongolian 
Peril, as the expression " His Majesty mounted the Dragon " 
means that an Emperor of China has departed this life. 
However, there is no accounting for tastes; Monsieur de 


Rougemont used, he said, to ride turtles ; the Yellow Peril 
mounts a dragon. Chacun h son gout. Fair cities lie 
between the bank of the river and the cliff, their spires, 
and domes, and castles exposed to the fate of the burning 
town beyond, if only the storm-cloud reach them. Strangely, 
the Peril himself is not ferocious in appearance. He sits, 
cross-legged, in calm contemplation, with folded hands 
and placid countenance, a Peril a child might play with ! 
Indeed, there is something about him that reminds one 
irresistibly of the sweet Jizo, the gentle god whom the 
Japanese have told off to be the playmate of little children's 
souls in the other world. Arid no wonder, for the Peril, 
as depicted by the Imperial Designer, is none other than 
the Lord Buddha, the incarnation of Goodness and Wisdom, 
the self-forgetting founder of the beautiful creed of Gentle- 
ness and Pity, the Lord of whom it is written : " For the 
Lord Buddha loved all created things, even the lowliest 

The German Emperor is a wonderfulty versatile, remark- 
ably clever man; there is hardly a science, an art, or a 
sport, in which he does not take a lively interest, and in 
which he has not attained a certain degree of proficiency. 
That he is a clever designer is shown by the composition 
of the Kaiser bi Id ; his bright, quick intellect is evident in 
the grouping and the details. But " even Homer nods," and 
I trust this is not Majest'dtsbeleidigung, an unmannerly 
offence I hold in contempt even the Kaiser is not infalli- 
ble, especially in matters of the Far East. Hence his 
mistake in selecting, as the personification of the " Yellow 
Peril," the figure of the founder of Buddhism, at the present 
time the least aggressive religion in the world. This error 
in symbolism apart, the Kaiser's meaning is plainly con- 
veyed by the picture he designed. His Majesty foresees 
a time, within measurable distance, when a struggle for 
the survival of the fittest must take place between the 
peoples of Europe, if not of the White Race all over the 
world, and the Yellow Men, and he exhorts the nations 


of the West to unite against the common foe. In case 
his spokesman, the Archangel with the flaming sword, 
should not make himself clearly understood, the Germar 
Emperor himself appeals, in the margin of the drawing, 
to those he would rouse to common action against the 
impending Peril. Here is his Imperial Message, traced in 
his own characteristically bold, clear writing: 

And, to emphasise the international character of the proposed 
League, the appeal is translated into French : " Nations 
europlennes ! Dtfendez vos biens sacres ! " and into English, 
very freely, as : " Nations of Europe ! Join in the defence 
of your faith and your home ! " The whole is authenticated 
by the Imperial sign manual, " Wilhelm, I.R.", and the 
origin of the picture is told in the words written in the 
left-hand corner : " Nach einem Entwurf Seiner Majcstat 
ties Deutschen Kaisers, Konigs von Prcussen, Wilhelm II., 
gez. v. II. Knackfuss, 1895." ("Drawn by H. Knackfuss, 
1895, from a Design by His Majesty William II., German 
Emperor, King of Prussia. 1 ') To point the moral of his 
allegory, the German Emperor presented the original draw- 
ing to the Tsar; surely, a plain sign to the rest of the 
world that, whilst willing, and ready, to take a prominent 
part in the New Crusade, His Germanic Majesty looked, 
and looks, upon the Autocrat of All the Russias as the 
natural leader in the movement to repel the Peril that 
must cross his frontier first. 

There are elements in the Kaiser's composite character 
that escape the casual observer, even amongst his own 
subjects. The British public has hardly been able to form 
a just estimate of the young monarch owing to the wave 


of indignation that swept over the whole British Empire 
in January, 1896, in consequence of his famous telegram 
to President Kruger ; " an insult to Britain," people called 
it at the time ; " ill-advised," they said, later on, and so 
it was from the point of view of the Briton, who forgets, 
or ignores, that this very "wire" did more to establish 
the Emperor's popularity with the bulk of the German 
people than any other act of his reign. Fortunately, time 
and the whirligig of international politics have soothed 
the Briton's wrath, actors no longer hustle one another in 
their hurry to get down to the footlights first and say 
something sarcastic about the German Emperor ; music 
hall "stars" no longer write to managers that they have 
secured " a good new song ; real good, with spicy encore 
verse about the German Emperor ; bound to fetch 'em ! " 
Now that the Briton can contemplate, with unruffled 
nerves, the Kaiser's acts his fine speeches must ever 
remain amusing mysteries to the Briton, they are intended 
for home consumption he cannot fail to discover three 
leading features in the Sovereign's character : that he is 
exceedingly clever, that he is thoroughly German, and 
thoroughly earnest in all he does. A closer study will 
reveal another important characteristic the strain ot 
mysticism that tinges many of his conceptions. It is this 
mystic inclination that explains the fascination of the 
Imperial mind by glimpses of a future struggle for exist- 
ence between the Christian Occident and Far Eastern 
Heathendom, from which the Cross is to emerge triumph- 
ant, thanks to the keen swords of modem Knights of the 
Holy Grail. King Arthur is the chivalrous Emperor's 
pattern none can deny his chivalry, which has captivated 
even the bitter press-men of the Boulevards and we have 
no reason to complain, for the prototype is a thoroughly 
British one. 

Of what nature is this " Yellow Peril " against which 
the Emperor warns us, that danger about which so much 
has been spoken and written ? It has formed a leading 


topic of discussion in every Occidental country. Volumes 
have been written about it, some grave, s,ome gay ; some 
wise, some silly. To the latter category belongs a farrago 
of absurdities embodied in a "bluggy" novel published, 
in 1898, under the title of The Yellow Danger, the 
work of a writer who has not taken the trouble to " get 
up" even as much information about the Far East as 
may be gleaned from a School Board Geography Primer. 
To most of the minds preoccupied with this question, the 
Peril menacing Occidental civilisation is the possible irrup- 
tion into Europe of a countless multitude of Chinese, 
armed, equipped and trained on the Western plan, who 
would bear down all opposition by reason of their vast 
numbers, and would spread ruin in their track. This 
spectre may be easily laid. The passages relating to 
China in the Chapter on " Fighting Power " will serve 
to exorcise it, at all events for many years to come. 

There is, however, a real "Yellow Peril," one that 
it behoves us to keep in view, to study, and to prepare 
to meet as best we may. It is indicated in the second 
illustration to this Chapter, the reproduction of one of 
the twelve drawings the famous Tokio artist, KUBOTA 
Beisen, has specially designed, from notes supplied by 
myself, for this book. I . recommend this picture of the 
highly probable future to the notice of those worth)'- 
people who pray, night and morning, for the " awakening 
of China." Were we mindful only of our own interests ; 
did not philanthropy, which knows no distinction of race, 
or of nationality, fill the hearts of some of us; did 
greed, lusting after the fortunes to be made out of an 
awakened China, not animate others ; did these opposite 
feelings not combine to sway the minds of many more, 
we should fervently pray that the Celestial Empire might 
continue in its lethargic slumber for evermore. Once the 
many millions of China call in the, hitherto despised, 
aid of Western science, they will not for long be content 
to employ it chiefly for the benefit of the Occident. 


The busy factories, such as the one Kubota has pro- 
phetically depicted, where docile, intelligent Chinese will 
work in swarms, for fifteen hours out of the twenty-four, 
under the skilled guidance of Occidentals, will, in due 
course, be succeeded by similar establishments conducted, 
on their own account, by scientifically - trained Chinese. 
Imagination falters at the contemplation of the prospect. 
What chance will the workers of the Occident, striving 
daily to do less work for higher wages, have against the 
teeming millions of Chinese, sober, docile, marvellously 
thrifty, intelligent and skilful, working, unremittingly and 
cheerfully, for pay that would keep them in comfort, but 
on which no Occidental could live ? The enormous in- 
dustrial development of New Japan, and the competition, 
in many cases successful, it has entered into with the 
Occident not only in Japan itself, but in markets hitherto 
considered as virtually reserved for the products of Europe 
and America supply an object-lesson that teaches us 
what the Far East can do when thoroughly aroused. 
But the economic condition of New Japan, the gradual, 
but relatively enormous, rise in the cost of living, and, con- 
sequently, in the price of labour, the spirit of combination 
amongst the workers an entirely new phenomenon in 
its present form leading to strikes and "lock-outs," 
all these point to the conditions that will exist, in 
course of time, in China to mitigate the severity of her 
competition with the Occident. These palliatives, however, 
still leave the power of competition of Japan but slightly 
diminished. In China, the country of slow movement, 
they will take much longer to come into play, and, when 
they do, the new industries of China, enjoying all the 
advantages imaginable extremely cheap, intelligent, easily- 
directed labour, scientifically-trained management, abundant 
coal, iron in plenty, home-grown raw material of almost 
every kind, widely-ramified water-transport on great rivers 
and long canals, numerous ports and, by that time, an 
extensive railway system will still be in a far better 


position to produce well and cheaply than their old- 
established rivals in the Occident. 

Here is food for reflection for the Occidental indus- 
trial classes, high and low, especially for those who con- 
tribute their labour. If a correct appreciation of the 
industrial possibilities of the New Far East possibilities 
that will be probabilities next year, and certainties within 
this generation could be brought home to the Occidental 
workers, Capital and Labour would, if not entirely bereft 
of reason, cease their internecine strife. Here is a ques- 
tion for our Socialists, of various shades, to consider. How 
do they propose, if any of their social systems be put into 
operation, to cope with the competition of the Yellow 
Multitudes, to whom Socialism is as naught ? If they 
could but realise the imminent danger that threatens 
them, the workers of the West would, provided a spark 
of sense is in their brains, abandon their present tendency 
towards working less, and, by many accounts, less well, 
for increased wages that render some industries barely 
profitable. They, and their employers, would apply 
their minds to solving the great problems of profit-sharing 
by co-operation, and strive to introduce a more rational, 
healthier, more economical standard of living for master 
and for man. In Britain and in her Colonies the two 
great causes of the workers' thriftlessness drink and 
debased "sport" would have to be kept in check, in 
order to face the new conditions. Truly, if the well- 
grounded fear of overwhelming Far Eastern competition 
cause the West to set its industrial fabric in order, the 
"Yellow Peril" may yet prove a blessing in disguise. 


HATS off, everybody ! Hats off to a Power that knows 
what it wants and gets it. The great Russian Empire 
knows with perfect certainty what it desires, and it 
obtains it, by hook or by crook, by fair means, if possible, 
if not, then by foul, but it gets it. What a painful con- 
trast to Britain's so-called " policy " in China in the 
last thirty years of the nineteenth century 1 The British 
nation, uncertainly treading paths that lead to humiliation 
or to nowhere has been feebly fumbling for a line of 
direction, abandoned almost as soon as it is found ; dis- 
tracted by conflicting advisers, misinformed by interested, 
or ignorant, counsellors, led away on unimportant side- 
issues, tricked by superior diplomacy, flouted by Asiatic 
arrogance, baffled at every turn, chuckling over illusory 
successes truly, the spectacle of Britain struggling in the 
meshes of the Far Eastern net, uttering threats she does 
not carry out and exacting pledges she allows to be 
broken with impunity, may well cause the Oriental to 
doubt her strength. In the case of Russia, he sees plainly 
the one thing that he respects above all others : power, 
animated by the will to use it. We in the West, accus- 
tomed for many years to look upon Russia as a "Colossus 
with feet of clay," can hardly conceive the degree of awe 
with which the peoples of the Far East have watched, 
and continue to watch, the giant strides wherewith the 
Colossus marches, ever forward, on their continent. The 


feet may be of clay, but they are planted with firm 
step wheresoever the Colossus listeth. 

That is the point that impresses Orientals so deeply, the 
calm way in which Russia pursues her policy in Asia, un- 
deterred by remonstrance or bluster, steadily making for 
the goal she has had in view for generations. And how 
wisely she proceeds 1 She never uses force when other 
methods, thoroughly understood by her Semi-Asiatic mind, 
will answer her purpose, but, when stern measures are 
needed, employs them with a ruthlessness, prompt and 
complete, that impresses the unreformed Oriental far more 
than our half-hearted, philanthropic attempts to gain his 
friendship by "regenerating" him. In nine cases out of 
ten, the Chinese does not want to be "regenerated" to 
become "civilised," like unto ourselves, would appear to 
him a disaster but he is heartily afraid of a beating, and 
the Power that wields the scourge is the one that looms 
largest in his eyes. Russia omits nothing that may con- 
tribute to increase this feeling of awe in the hearts of the 
Chinese the Japanese, safely guarded in their island home 
by their powerful navy, look upon Russia's advance with 
less trepidation. The Government at St. Petersburg is 
mindful of the necessity for upholding this prestige of 
power, even in the selection of physically imposing 
individuals to represent her in the Far East. The biggest 
Finns in the Imperial Navy are shipped in her Asiatic 
Squadron, the tallest foot-soldiers, not serving in the 
regiments of the Imperial Guard, are sent to Vladivos- 
tock and to Port Arthur; even the diplomatists and the 
Consular officials acting in Eastern Asia are, as a rule, 
tall, well. set-up men, as imposing in appearance as they 
are suave in ordinary intercourse, astute in negotiation 
and cunning in intrigue. 

There is no service in the world whose members are 
more carefully chosen, more thoroughly trained, or so 
certain of being rewarded in exact accordance with the 
results they achieve, than the Diplomatic and the Consular 


Corps of Russia in the East. (The officers of both 
services are interchangeable ; a very wise provision.) In 
the land of jobbery and patronage, where Officers of the 
Guards, of noble birth, look down upon those of the Line 
as hardly belonging to the same army, in the country of 
nepotism and Palace back-stairs intrigue, two services, and 
two only, are free from these evils the General Staff, and 
the Diplomatic and Consular Corps serving in the East. 
The privileges of the " well-born " they are worth having, 
in Russia, as they include immunity from being flogged 
by the Police count for nothing in the selection of the 
instruments that do the Tsar's work in Asia ; fitness alone 
is taken into consideration. Even the despised and hated 
Jew is enrolled into this select service d'e'lite if he be 
considered likely to render efficient service. His name is 
"russified," and he is required to become "converted" 
to the Greek Orthodox Faith, but once the "off" or 
the "eff" is tacked on to his name, and he conforms 
with the outward practices of the Russian Church, no 
enquiry is made into the soundness of his orthodoxy. He 
goes to work, and to work well, in the ranks of a service 
that includes Armenians of the same mental calibre as 
himself, quick-witted Poles, and plodding, learned Germans 
from the Baltic Provinces, all labouring strenuously, side 
by side with real Russians, towards one common end. 
As to the means these absolutely efficient officials employ, 
they are calculated to make the average British diplo : 
matist's hair stand on end "like quills upon the fretful 
porcupine," for they include everything calculated to be 
of service, "from pitch-and-toss to constructive murder." 
It is the nimble rouble that is pitched and tossed into 
the itching palm of the Mandarin, and if an inconvenient 
person disappears rather suddenly from the scene well, 
it only shows how very unhealthy it is to oppose the 
"manifest destiny" of a great Empire. It is not always 
convenient to kidnap undesirable people, as was done in 
the case of Prince Alexander of Bulgaria. Those who 


.... Russian Frontier before IS.58 

bKi-lling. x Russian Frontier after Treaty of Aigun, 

FORMfjSAOR _ 1858, (Murevieff Treaty). 

, il thereby. 

Russian Frontier after Treaty of 18CO,.. 
(Primorsk-lissuri Treaty), 
and territory aci|uired thereby 
Russian territory acquired by Treatj 

with Japan, 1875 

Russian "Sphere of Influence" 
after Cassini Convention , 189C 

Trans Siberian-Railway _ 

. kicking 

Drawn, under the direction of the Author, by H. J. EVANS. 


saw, as I did, the long benches outside the handsome 
building of the Russian Legation at Bucharest, in the days 
when the late Gospodin Hitrovo was Minister, filled 
with rows of bravos " waiting for a job " rascaldom 
from every part of the Balkan Peninsula, bristling with 
weapons know what "shady" individuals can be of use, 
at times, in the furtherance of a policy of Orthodox 
Christian civilisation. 

No detail is considered too petty for deep consideration 
by Russia's agents in the East. Every scrap of informa- 
tion is received, checked, tabulated, not as with us to 
lie forgotten in a dusty pigeon-hole, but to be instantly 
referred to when required, emendations being added, when- 
ever necessary, to keep the information up to date. These 
renseignements embrace every subject that can be con- 
sidered likely to prove useful in the work of the par- 
ticular agency that collects them. They are gleaned, 
partly locally, partly at other agencies, that transmit 
them to headquarters on the banks of the Neva, whence 
they are disseminated to the offices likely to make good 
use of them. A case in point occurs to me as I write. 
At a certain, politically important, centre in Asia, a 
vacancy in the representation of Britain had just been 
filled up. The appointment of the new incumbent of the 
post had been gazetted, and he was on his way to take 
up the duties. The Russian representative on the spot 
enquired, in conversation with a colleague, the Consul of 
another European Power, whether he knew anything of 
" ce nouvel Anglais qui nous arrive." No, the cher 
collogue knew nothing at all about Her Britannic Majesty's 
new representative. " Ah ! " said the Muscovite, lighting 
another papiros of fragrant Sa?nsun krepki, " I do. He 
is a very clever and energetic official, a soldier, formerly 
a Captain in the Royal Blankshire Fusiliers, tall, thin, and 
athletic. He is a bachelor, a good shot and, mirabile dictu, 
speaks three European languages and two Oriental ones ! 
He is not a hard drinker, but he is an inveterate smoker. 


His pet fad is collecting postage-stamps. Cest bon & 
noter." " You know him, then ? " was the rejoinder. 
" Not in the least. But I have heard," said the Tsar's 
officer, who had received a despatch from Russia that 
morning giving him all these particulars, and many more 
important ones, about the man against whom he was 
soon to be pitted in the diplomatic struggle, an unequal 
one from the outset, for the Russian, admirably backed 
up by his Government, had all the chances in his favour 
as against the unfortunate British officer, considered by his 
own Foreign Office as a sentinelle perdue, to be com- 
municated with, and heard from, as rarely as possible. 
"No news, good news" is an adage of much comfort to 
the Downing Street Permanent Official. 

The men who work for Russia in the Far East enjoy 
advantages over their colleagues of other nations and 
especially over their British antagonists that spring from 
racial causes. The educated Russian is an excellent 
linguist. I lay stress on the word " educated," because 
it is a common fallacy that all Russians speak several 
languages. In comparison with the vast population of 
the Empire, the linguists are few, but they excel in 
the languages they acquire. Not only do they learn the 
tongues of the Far East with greater facility, and speak 
them more fluentty, and with a far better pronuncia- 
tion and intonation, than Britons, who seldom lose 
their insular inflections I know Englishmen who, after 
a residence of years in Osaka, persist in calling 
it " Osahka," or even " Osahker " but they have 
the inestimable advantage of being able to learn the 
languages before proceeding to the Far East, in the 
excellent, practical School the Russian Government main- 
tains for the purpose. France, Germany, Italy, the 
Netherlands, even Austria-Hungary, all possess special 
Schools for the same purpose. Britain does not. Com- 
ment is superfluous. Besides the priceless toon of a 
facility of tongues, and a readiness to make use of them 


rare in Britons I know some Britons who know two or 
three foreign languages, theoretically, remarkably well, but 
you might live with them for a year and not be aware of 
their knowledge ; they never practise, and consequently 
speak falteringly, with an atrocious accent the Russians 
possess an inborn faculty, due to the Asiatic strain in their 
blood, of adaptation to Oriental surroundings. The Russian 
can feel perfectly at home amongst Asiatics the Briton, 
except in very rare cases, never does. The Russian 
understands the Far Eastern, and especially the Chinese, 
mind to the average Briton it mostly remains a sealed 
book. I have known many Britons, Englishmen in 
particular, who have spent the best years of their life 
amongst Asiatics, and possess a wide knowledge of their 
language, their institutions, their manners and customs, 
but who are as totally ignorant of the processes of the 
native mind, the true feelings of the native heart, as on 
the day they left Mincing Lane, or " the sweet, shady side 
of Piccadilly." 

Their sympathetic intuition stands the Russians in 
good stead. Not only do they thoroughly understand 
the Far Easterns, but the latter understand them. 
They can appreciate Russia's aim, they understand 
Russia's methods, her virtues and her vices, not so very 
unlike their own. We, on the contrary, are a stand- 
ing puzzle to them, as they are to most of us. Our 
objects appear to them vague and illusory, our methods 
queer and wrong-headed, our amusements sheer lunacy, our 
virtues pale and negative, our vices incomprehensible. (I 
am dealing, of course, only with the opinions of the 
Oriental whose mind has not undergone the influences of 
education of the Occidental type.) When the British 
Minister makes representations, however serious, to the 
Tsung-li-Yamen, bringing forward cogent reasons and lucid 
argument, he often leaves the Chinese negotiators, half 
cunning, half pigheaded, wondering at His Excellency's 
speeches and at the motives of the Government that 


instructed him. When Gospodin Pavloff retires, in high 
dudgeon, from the Conference Room, after thumping the 
large round table, so as to make the little saucers of 
sweetmeats dance, wherewith the Chinese Board of Foreign 
Affairs regale their exasperated interviewers, the wise men 
of the Yam$n the angry words and threats of the Tsar's 
representative still ringing in their ears understand perfectly 
well what he requires of them in furtherance of his 
country's plain policy. They believe in the reality of his 
menaces, for they know the Tsar has the power, and, if 
he must come to extremities, the will to execute them 
and the members of the Board, too, for the matter of that 
and, in accordance with the concluding words of Chinese 
Imperial Rescripts, they "Tremble and Obey." 

Russia's methods are not always of the violent type. 
Her arguments are frequently persuasive, nay, seductive. 
A Russian official, who had long experience in China, once 
said : " There is but one way to negotiate with a Mandarin : 
hold a thousand rouble note in your left hand, and take 
two turns of his pigtail round your right." Much as the 
Chinese corrupt official there are a few incorruptible 
ones likes to be offered " temptations," he, none the less, 
entertains, in common with all his countrymen, a profound 
respect for the man who dares to browbeat him success- 
fully. He shares this feeling with the Russian. A Mus- 
covite isvostchik who was soundly drubbed by an irate 
" fare " he had upset in the snow, climbed on to his 
little perch on the sleigh, rubbing his bruised shoulder, 
with the exclamation of involuntary admiration : " Mala- 
dietz/" (" What a fellow ! There's a man for you ! ") 

Just so the Chinese, who looks up to the man who 
carries a big stick, and uses it on occasion. It is in 
this respect that Britain commits a grave error in her 
dealings with China. Her " big stick " the splendid fleet 
she keeps in Far Eastern waters is well in evidence j the 
mischief is that no one in Eastern Asia believes that she 
ever intends to use it. 


Russia has, I have endeavoured to explain, an admirable 
staff to do her work in Eastern Asia. These devoted 
men spend laborious days, and nights, in working, on lines 
I have indicated, to obtain, as far as in them lies, the 
realisation of their country's ardent desire. What is it, 
then, that Russia wants ? To the mind of the average, 
Non-Russian, and Non-French, observer, there would seem 
to be but one possible answer to this question. Russia's 
great want is, of course, some real civilisation : education 
for the besotted, illiterate, superstitious, dirty and un- 
healthy millions of " the Black People," the good, poor, 
suffering masses of the huge Empire, whose virtues are all 
their own, whose vices are all those of the system of 
alternate repression and neglect under which they vege- 
tate ; sanitation, both material and moral a stiff broom 
to sweep the filth not only, materially, from the reeking 
St. Petersburg tenement-house and the peasant's log-hut, 
but also, morally, from the hundreds of Government offices 
where thousands of underpaid Tchinovniki batten on the 
people, robbing the poor and the rich, the muzhik and the 
Tsar ; peace, to allow of the development of her marvel- 
lous resources ; toleration, to permit her people to worship 
God in the way that seems to them the best ; and, last, 
but chief of all, liberty, just a little liberty to begin with, 
in a mild, tentative sort of way, merely the right of the 
subjects to their own souls and bodies, the right to speak, 
to read, to write, to lie down at night unhaunted by the 
ghastly fear of an enemy's malicious denunciation, of the 
midnight police-raid, the exile " by Administrative Order " 
and Siberia. Surely, that is what Russia wants, with 
a wide re-opening of that "window facing Europe" that 
Peter the Great first opened, and that has now been shut for 
some years, and bolted and barred by the Procurator of 
the Holy Synod, Gospodin Pobedonostzeff, partly a Rus- 
sian pinchbeck imitation of the Grand Inquisitor Torque- 
mada, partly a weak replica of General Booth. A little 
of the fresh, free air of heaven, let in to vivify the 


stifling, grovelling masses, surely that is Russia's pressing 
need ? 

Not a bit of it, at least not in the opinion of the vast 
majority of the Russian people. A small, a very small, 
proportion of the population may sigh for all, or for 
some, of these desiderata, but that proportion is either in 
the mines, working in chains, probably, or breaking its 
heart in the dreariness of " internment " in an unsavoury 
Yakut ulus out in the taiga, the Siberian " bush," or in exile 
in Switzerland, or in a London suburb, or living a hunted 
life in Russia itself. An infinitesimal fraction of it lives 
in Palaces, talks treason an average number of the 
Times contains two or three columns of treason, from the 
Russian Censor's point of view in whispers, over glasses 
of tea-and-lemon, and sometimes does the most daring 
things, deeds to subvert an Empire such as pinning 
pathetic appeals, or threatening manifestos, to the Tsar's 
arm-chair. But all of them together are as a drop in 
the great ocean of the Russian majority that asks for 
none of those things which seem to us so essential, knows 
them not and does not feel the want of them. 

What, then, does the Russian majority want ? Its 
plausible friends in our midst assure us that it only 
wants to get to the sea, to the real, open sea, not to 
narrow waters like the Baltic, ice-bound in almost every 
port in winter, nor to " closed seas " like the Black Sea, 
where Turkey could "bottle up" the Russian fleet by 
closing the Bosphorus, just as a possible future Nelson 
might seize the narrow straits between Denmark and Scan- 
dinavia, and " bottle up " the Tsar's Baltic Squadron. Russia, 
they say, wants to get access to an ocean open the whole 
year round, not rendered impassable by ice for several 
months, like the White Sea, nor to be forced only by 
powerful ice-breakers, like the Pacific at Vladivostock. 
With this craving for an outlet to the free ocean every- 
one must needs sympathise. One cannot expect that a 
nation of nearly one hundred and thirty millions will for 


ever remain content to be confined within a bottle with 
four narrow necks, three of them ice-bound every winter, 
and the fourth at all times at the mercy of a foreign, 
and probably hostile, Power. Russia's irresistible impulse 
towards the open sea is but natural ; it is justified, and 
no power on earth can permanently arrest what is moving 
with the momentum of an elemental force. Britain's busi- 
ness is to see to it that Russia reaches the sea only at 
such places, and under such conditions, as will involve 
the least damage to British interests. 

But Russia wants more than mere access to the open 
sea. Russia wants to rule, in the first place, over China ; 
absolutely over Manchuria, Mongolia and Northern China 
proper, then over Chinese Turkestan as far as the Pamir 
table-land ; indirectly over the whole of China. No 
" Spheres of Influence " for Russia, or, rather, one vast 
" Sphere of Influence," Russian influence, to wit, conter- 
minous with the borders of the Chinese Empire. And 
Russia knows that once she has firmly established her 
rule, call it " Suzerainty," " Protectorate," " Influence," or 
what you will, over China, she will be the mistress of 
three-fourths of Asia, together with her partner, France, 
and that is what Russia wants. Nor does her ambition 
stop there. She wants to rule over Asia, and to control 
Europe too, ay, and as much of the rest of the globe as 
she can place under her influence. Russia wants as much of 
the world as she can get hold of, because Russia believes, 
firmly, implicitly, that it is her "manifest destiny" to be 
a World-Power, a greater Rome, a stronger and more 
Imperial Britain. " Russia first, and the rest nowhere ! " 
That is the idea implanted in every Russian mind, the wish 
imbedded in every Russian heart, but not in the manner 
of theoretical Chauvinism, that sentimental patriotism that 
makes the people of every great nation desire to see 
theirs placed first amongst the Powers ; no, this Russian 
patriotism is more of the ardent, irresistible, Japanese type ; 
it is more than a national feeling, because it is a religion. 


To absorb new territory means, to the Briton, to 
secure a large space where he can find fresh customers for 
his wares, and grow produce to sell " at home," or in other 
countries ; a place where his superabundant sons, and 
daughters too, sometimes, may make new homes for 
themselves and become self-supporting ; he even looks 
upon it as a convenient "dumping-ground" for his ne'er- 
do-weels, the scapegraces who are supposed to undergo 
an instantaneous and complete moral reformation the 
moment they land in the dependency, where half-a- 
dozen whiskey-bars face them on the wharf. To the 
Frenchman, the conquest of a "Colony," so-called, means 
the opportunity of a number of people to live at the 
public expense, with the additional delights of being in- 
vested with authority, and having an official title and a 
uniform. Moreover, it is flattering to the nation's self- 
esteem ; there is a dash of heroism and romance about 
it. To the German, the seizure of another "Colony," 
also so-called, for it attracts but few colonists, means 
very much the same as to the Frenchman, with this 
difference, that the German makes an honest and deter- 
mined effort to trade there, and that he can enjoy himself 
to his heart's content by ordering the natives about in 
sharp, barrack-yard tones. 

Each nation has its own ideal of enjoyment. The 
Briton is happiest when he can do "as he jolly well 
pleases " ; the Frenchman is glad when he can make 
someone else do what he, the Frenchman, likes ; the 
German, especially the Prussian, rejoices when he can 
make somebody do what that somebody does not like. 
All three nations look upon colonies and dependencies 
with favour, although from opposite points of view. 
The Russian regards his conquests in quite another 
light. To him they are not only regions promising 
a rich harvest of profit, they are lands where he 
will continue his holy mission the Russification of the 
World. Gradually he goes to work, ruthlessly " russifying " 


by force, where force is the best method, operating per- 
suasively, with great tact, where violence would fail. 
Above all, he encourages the native to become a Russian, 
especially in the matter of religion, by holding out social 
inducements, a line of conduct the Briton never adopts, 
save in a half-hearted manner. Ask anyone just returned 
from a British settlement in Africa whether the converted, 
"civilised" Negro, or Kaffir, is made welcome in white 
society. In India, the British are more friendly to the 
native who remains faithful to his own customs, his tradi- 
tions, and his creed, than to the "civilised" native, who 
wears European clothes and has taken his B.A. degree at 
an Indian, or even at an English, University.* Not so 
the Russian. He takes to his heart the Turkoman who 
has abjured Islam and changed his name from Ali Khan 
to " Alikhanoff." He makes much of him socially, gives 
him a commission in the army, if he be a fighting chief, 
confers decorations upon him, invites him to the Court 
of St. Petersburg and makes him feel, generally, that he 
is a Russian like himself, provided always that he has 
submitted to the process of " russification." He must be 
made much of, for he is a useful tool in the great work 
of making Russia Mistress of the World. Yes, Russia the 
World-Power, that is the idea. As it happens, a some- 
what similar idea with regard to Britain has its seat in 
every British brain. Hence the trouble in the present 
and the future. 

In her plans for the subjugation of China, Russia has, 
of course, the devoted assistance of her " dear friend and 
ally," France, who supports all her efforts diplomatically, 
and aids her with what is much more important money. 
Russia's wonderful railway across Asia, .the great Trans- 
Siberian Line, is being built with French capital, and the 

* An exception to this rule is made when the native plays high-class 
cricket with consummate skill. In such case, the white community in India 
condescend to intimacy with him. The rest of the British race make a 
demi-god of him. 


greater part of the industrial enterprises that are develop- 
ing, at a prodigious rate, the resources of Russia, in Europe 
and in Asia, derive their funds, and much of the energy 
and of the scientifically -trained skill with which they are 
being conducted, from France. I have it on the authority 
of one of London's leading financiers, a man well known 
for the accuracy of his information and the prudence of 
his statements, that the amount lent to Russia, in one 
way or another, by French investors reached, in 1897, the 
enormous total of three hundred million pounds sterling. 
This immense sum includes the French capital invested in 
industrial undertakings in the Russian Empire, but a great 
part of it represents money lent to the Russian State. 
Now, what has France, as a nation, got in return for this 
extraordinary display of confidence ? The individual in- 
vestors in the Russian Funds receive their interest regu- 
larly Russia is scrupulously careful to keep up her credit, 
and during the Crimean War she paid the interest due to 
her creditors even amongst those who were fighting against 
her and many of the Russian undertakings financed in 
Paris earn dividends, but what has the Republic received 
in exchange for all this French money ? Two kisses. The 
Tsar kissed President Faure on both cheeks at their meeting 
in St. Petersburg. That is at the rate of one hundred and 
fifty millions sterling per kiss. Our Metropolitan Police 
Magistrates value them, on occasion, at a considerably lower 
rate, as sundry fines, reported in the press, do testify. 

Signs are not wanting that the French people are 
beginning to chafe at the one-sided nature of their alliance 
with Russia, but it is a fact that, were the compact to 
terminate in Europe, it would endure for years to come, 
if Russia so desired, in the Far East. The motive of this 
strange "union of hearts" is, on the part of the French, 
not love for Russia but hatred, blind hatred, of Germany 
and of Britain. The former feeling is easily accounted 
for such a crushing defeat as proud, sensitive France 
suffered in 1870-71 must rankle for many years. Her 


animosity against Britain is more complex and less logical, 
Jealousy is at the bottom of it, and unreasoning spite, as 
some of France's worthiest and wisest men those whose 
warning voices are drowned in the popular clamour 
sorrowfully admit. The French are straining every nerve 
to carry out, in Asia as in Africa, that policy of expansion 
that was devised by her regenerators to restore the nation's 
confidence in itself, so rudely shaken by her collapse under 
the blows of Germany. It was necessary to show the 
French people, unnerved by the disasters of the war and 
the horrors of the Commune, that victory would yet follow 
the tricolour, that the bells of Notre Dame could still 
peal for triumphs achieved by French arms. The victories 
were over Tunisian soldiery, Annamite and Tong-king 
rabble, feint-hearted Malagasy, and brave, but ill-equipped, 
Dahomeyans, it is true, but they were triumphs all the 
same, very similar to many of those the British army 
achieves in various of our "little wars," and they gave 
back to the French that belief in their own prowess that 
puts life into nations. Unfortunately for the peace and 
concord of two great peoples, near neighbours who ought 
to be close friends, the French policy of expansion beyond 
the seas brought them, and still brings them, into perilous 
contact with Britain's outposts throughout the world. The 
same thing occurs in the case of Germany's attempts to 
found a " World- Empire." It is, naturally, extremely gall- 
ing to the Frenchman, or the German, who enters territory 
he has "marked down" for his own the black, brown, or 
yellow owner is not consulted in the matter to find a 
Scotchman there selling something. So the Gaul and the 
Teuton unite in vituperation of "perfidious Albion," and 
repeat the phrase so often that it has passed into an 
article of belief. 

Animated by these unfriendly feelings towards Britain, 

France has lost no opportunity, in the last decade of the 

nineteenth century, to exert her influence in the Far East 

against Britain's interests. And her influence is great, 



especially in China, owing to the proximity of her Indo- 
Chinese possessions, of whose vast extent the average 
Briton has but a faint notion, and to the number, the 
energy and the indomitable courage of the Roman 
Catholic Missionaries, of French nationality, whom she 
protects in China. The role of France in the Far East is, 
indeed, an important one. She is gradually, but surely, 
extending her paramount influence in Yun - nan and 
Kwang-si. Her Missionaries, every one of whom acts as 
an " agent in advance " to further her interests, penetrate 
into the most remote districts, her engineers are making 
surveys on Chinese soil for the railways that are to open up 
communications with the trade-routes in her Indo-Chinese 
dominion, in competition with the British railway from 
Upper Burma into China, about which we have been 
talking, talking, talking, and writing, writing, writing so 
much and doing so little. The Consular Agents of 
France travel through Southern China horn end to end, 
and so do her officials from Tong-king, who have a pecu- 
liar way of enjoying their " leave season." Their pastime 
in that holiday period often consists in sailing on the 
waters of the Yang-tsze, or clambering in the passes and 
gorges of Yun-nan and of Sze-chuen, accompanied by large 
escorts of their Annamite and Tong-king soldiers, fully 
armed and equipped, and by French officers, in uniform 
all the time. The Chinese authorities look on in a dazed 
sort of way, and make no protest. If Britain attempted 
a similar course of action the Tsung-li Yam&n would 
worry our Minister about it to the verge of exasperation. 
But France is the friend of Russia ; China feels the two 
halves of the Russo-French nut-cracker closing on her, 
North and South, .and is helpless and powerless to resist 
the steady, unrelenting pressure. 

To add to China's troubles, Germany, after many years 
ot close commercial intercourse, and of great influence, 
due, chiefly, to the fact that she posed as the disinterested 
friend, has driven her wedge into the Celestial Empire. 


She has secured, at Kiao-chau, an excellent harbour and 
coaling-station for her China Squadron, that is to be a 
powerful one when the Kaiser's aspirations to sea-power 
proceed towards realisation. The " Mailed Fist " ex 
pedition raised a smile at its grandiloquent " send off," 
and its slow progress across the seas, but it achieved im- 
portant moral effects. The interview Prince Henry of 
Prussia had with the Son of Heaven, an interview ob- 
tained from the Government at Peking by threats it knew 
were meant to be carried out, convinced the Mandarins 
that they had to deal with a Power that would "stand 
no nonsense." That is the object to be aimed at in all 
relations with China. Russia, and her ally, France, and 
Germany, who sides with them when it suits her con- 
venience, have inspired the ruling class of China with a 
terror that is worth, to these masterful Powers, a whole 
cartload of Treaties and Conventions. What use Russia 
and her subservient partner intend to make of their power 
in China is plainly evident. Russia aims at supreme con- 
trol, and will let France, whose thrifty people have sup- 
plied her with the sinews of war, have a share of the 
spoil. Germany's object is a different one. Her lust is 
not so much after territory in the Far East. She required 
a base for her operations, a Stiitzpunkt, and she has got 
it, and an excellent one, at Kiao - chau. There she 
can, under her own flag, lay her plans for the Far 
Eastern phase of the commercial and industrial contest 
with Britain she is waging, with remarkable success, all 
over the world. Russia's industries cannot, for many 
years to come, supply the markets of Northern and 
Central China with all the manufactures they require. 
She will not object to Germany's sharing in the business 
if British products can thereby be ousted. 

Russia remains the chief factor of the situation, and 
the White Tsar holds the future of China in his hand, 
unless a stronger Power exerts its might and wrests the 
supremacy from him. 



THE course is clear that lies before Britain in the Far 
East. It is plainly marked on the chart of history. Every 
rock ahead, every shoal is clearly indicated by the survey 
of experience, every current is traced, so that the pilot 
may steer with unerring confidence. Yet, at the close 
of the nineteenth century, the good ship British Policy 
is stranded, high and dry, at the mouth of the Pei-ho, 
and on a coast that her captain ought to know better 
than a shipmaster of any other nation. 

"Ah!" I hear the Reader exclaim, "now for an 
indictment of the conduct of Britain's affairs in the Far 
East ! " And, according to his particular political con- 
victions, he prepares to approve or to blame. If he be 
an opponent of the policy of the Marquess of Salisbury, 
or one of the "Revolted Tories," whom the Far Eastern 
Crisis drove into mutiny, he will applaud when I state 
that the interests of Britain are indeed in jeopardy in 
Eastern Asia, that she has lost the proud position of 
absolute paramount influence that was hers for so long, 
that the efforts made to retrieve her vanished prestige 
have been inadequate, and that the small successes inci- 
dentally gained, and paraded with much solemnity, 
have been, to a great extent, illusory. " There ! " he will 
say, " I knew it 1 Such a miserably weak, vacillating, 
futile policy was never seen before ! " But, desiring 
to be strictly impartial, I am compelled to give heart 


of grace to his political opponents, the stalwarts of the 
Unionist Party, by affirming my conviction that, had 
his side been in office, they would have fared just as 
badly or worse. Whatever party might have been in 
office during 1897 and 1898, the results of its Far Eastern 
policy were, almost inevitably, foredoomed to be in- 
adequate for the maintenance of Britain's interests and 
prestige. "The stars in their courses" were righting 
against us, it might appear, so persistently did ill-luck 
attend one after another of the honest and strenuous, but 
ill-directed, efforts that were made to keep British policy 
on a successful course. Those who guided these efforts 
were but reaping the results of years of ignorance and 
neglect on the part of remote predecessors, who be- 
.queathed to successive Secretaries of State incorrect infor- 
mation, antiquated and futile methods, and inadequate 
means of carrying out even these. An inexorable fatality 
that attends a wrongly-conceived policy drives it from 
bad to worse, and Britain's course of action towards 
China, having acquired a twist in the wrong direction in 
the 'seventies, under the entirely erroneous impression that 
China was a valuable and potent ally in case of need 
went on increasing its deviation from the true line from 
year to year. Blunder followed on blunder, all arising 
from the original error, and each mistake, more serious 
than the last, whittling away a large slice of that prestige, 
that respect for our power, and that fear of our anger, 
that forms the foundation of our position in China. In 
the meantime, new factors were being introduced into the 
Far Eastern situation, at first hardly noticeable, or treated 
by us with good-humoured contempt, but growing apace 
until they became the formidable elements we must now 
take into consideration at every step of our Far Eastern 

In the last twenty-five years of the century, great 
Powers have appeared on the scene in Eastern Asia, for 
the first time, with whom we have now to reckon, but 


our policy and our methods have not been adapted to 
meet the changed conditions. Where we stood alone face 
to face with the Far Eastern peoples, almost the only 
great Occidental Power they knew, we are now sur- 
rounded by active, well-equipped competitors, carrying 
out policies, based on sound knowledge, by modern means 
suited to the end in view. 

Had those in charge of Britain's policy, in the event- 
ful years 1897 an d 1898, cast off the old methods, had 
they taken a leaf out the book of our chief opponent in 
Asia, Russia, and acted with the firmness the situation 
demanded, would such a course have been crowned with 
success ? I venture to say that the result would have 
been but little more satisfactory or, rather, but slightly 
less unsatisfactory than has actually been the case. This 
seems, at first sight, a paradox, for, surely, the complete 
change of our policy and methods from effeteness to 
vigour, from futility to efficiency, must have surmounted 
all obstacles in our way ? Not necessarily ; the real 
cause of the failure of our policy lies deep indeed. The 
whole nation is responsible for its existence, not only the 
Ministers who bear the blame. It behoves every patriot 
to examine its nature and to strive with might and main 
to remove the defect. The cause is lack of sufficient 

Powerful as Britain undeniably is, supreme as she is at 
sea, the growth of her defensive, and of her offensive forces 
in modern war the terms are, in our case, practically 
synonymous has not kept pace with the expansion of 
her world-wide Empire, nor with the power to harm her 
of her possible foes. This lamentable fact has never been 
more apparent than during the crisis in the Far East. 
Had Britain opposed the machinations of Russia, and of 
France, at the critical moment, with a firm declaration 
that any attempt on their part to coerce China into an 
attitude opposed to our interests, any encroachment on 
Chinese territory calculated to imperil the integrity of the 


Chinese Empire, any slamming of the "Open Door," 
would be resisted by force of arms, she would have been 
taken at her word. It would have meant War. Truly, 
we spoke of the contingency of war. A Cabinet Minister 
flourished the words "even at the cost of war" in a 
famous speech, but it was only in a Pickwickian sense, 
and the attempted "bluff" fell flat. It did not cause 
Russia to deviate from her course by a hair's breadth ; it 
did not, in the end, cause China to respect our power 
one whit the more. The Briton has a good conceit of 
the national might, but the sane man would be hard to 
find who would have advocated an attempt on the part 
of Britain to oppose by force of arms the policy in the 
Far East of Russia and France, possibly supported, openly 
or covertly, by Germany, in 1898. I am aware that this 
statement may be opposed by some who proudly point 
to our superiority in lighting power, and in coal resources, 
in Far Eastern waters. "Why," they say triumphantly, 
"we could, unaided, drive the fleets of our antagonists off 
the China seas, and our indisputable command of the lines 
of maritime communication would prevent our opponents 
from reinforcing their troops in Eastern Asia, \and from 
forwarding fresh supplies of stores to their strongholds in 
those regions, save by the long and difficult overland 
route, by the way of Siberia, almost impracticable for pur- 
poses of w^ar until the great Trans - Continental Railway is 
completed." \ 

Those "who reason in this way overlook the fact that 
the struggle would have to be fought out not in the Far 
East only, but in Europe itself. The die would be cast, 
not in the Yellow Sea, but in the English Channel; the 
decisive naval action would be fought in the Straits of 
Dover, or off the Canaries, or near the Azores ; the pitched 
battles on land would take place not in the vicinity of 
Peking, but in the forests of Finland, or on the plains of 
Northern France. Those who talk glibly of the certainty 
of Britain's overcoming, in the end, the united might of 


Russia and of France base their forecast entirely on our 
undoubted superiority at sea to either of the allies, and, 
in all likelihood, taking into consideration the excellence 
of our naval personnel, to both of them combined. They 
forget that the defeat of their naval forces would not 
necessarily involve for Russia and France the absolute 
national ruin that would attend the destruction of Britain's 
sea - power, were such an eventuality imaginable. The 
British navy could, no doubt, destroy the maritime com- 
merce of both our opponents ; they would not be staggered 
by the blow, for France's merchant shipping is small in 
importance relatively to her population and her coast-line, 
whilst Russia's mercantile fleet might be swept off the 
seas without crippling the nation to any appreciable extent. 
Granted that, in such a conflict, Britain had driven the 
hostile flags off the ocean, hostilities might be indefinitely 
prolonged, the protracted state of tension working incal- 
culable injury to her industries, for, victorious at sea, she 
would lack the powerful land forces requisite to deliver 
what Sir Charles Dilke has called "the counterstroke " 
against the huge armaments within her enemies' frontiers. 
France can be really conquered only at Paris, Russia only 
at Moscow. To overcome these giants one must strike 
at the heart. For such an enterprise against two great 
nations in arms Britain lacks the requisite military strength, 
the hundreds of thousands of trained soldiers, led by 
Generals experienced in handling, scientifically, vast bodies 
of men. She can find men in abundance, even men with 
some sort of military training, strong, hardy, brave as 
lions, but she cannot, as yet and for some time to come, 
place in the field a homogeneous force, practically, and 
constantly, organised, equipped, and trained for war in 
one word, an Army large enough to undertake operations 
against the immense fighting-machines of great Continental 
Powers like Russia and France. 

The Man in the Street has some inkling of this fact, as 
may be inferred from the eagerness with which he catches 


at the idea of an alliance, or, rather, alliances, that would 
provide Britain, in his opinion, with the military power in 
which she is deficient. Not that he will openly admit 
that the deficiency exists ; in his heart, filled with intense, 
and justifiable, pride of race, misgivings as to Britain's 
power on land struggle with the conviction that one 
Briton is a match for any three foreigners. But the idea 
of alliances is a soothing one, and the degree of the 
attraction it exercises on the public mind may be gauged 
by the readiness with which every indication of a probable 
co-operation of foreign nations is acclaimed by the masses. 
It is taken for granted by nearly every Briton that the 
assistance of Japan's powerful navy and excellent army is 
assured to Britain in the event of hostilities in the Far 
East. The wish is father to the thought, but it would be 
unwise to look upon such an alliance as a foregone 
conclusion. The interests of Britain and of Japan in Asia 
being so largely identical, common-sense points to com- 
bined action in case of need as inevitable, yet there are 
obstacles in the way that are not sufficiently appreciated 
by the British nation. There exists in Japan a very con- 
siderable party opposed to the idea of any foreign alliance, 
holding that the wisest course for the nation to pursue is 
an opportunist policy, keeping aloof from engagements that 
might prove embarrassing, and profiting, as occasion arises, 
by the rivalries of the various Occidental Powers. Another 
large, and influential, section of the population is in favour 
of co-operation with Britain in the Far East, but demands 
a compact, guaranteeing immunity for Japan from the 
risks attending, in the opinion of this party, an alliance 
with us. The Japanese are keen students of modem 
history, and they note, with feelings of pardonable un- 
easiness, the fatality that seems to pursue natiors which 
throw in their lot with Britain, and help to fight her 
battles. Without going back to the days of the Crimean 
Avar, and considering the fate of Shamyl and his undaunted 
Circassians, the Japanese find food for reflection in the 


case of the Swazi nation, who stood by the British in 
many a hard-fought tussle in South Africa, and were 
" rewarded" for their assistance by being handed over to 
the tender mercies of "Oom Paul" and his Boers, and in 
the doom of the Jaalin, and other " Friendlies," destroyed, 
root and branch, by the Khalifa's savage Baggara for the 
unpardonable sin of having borne arms for Britain. Such 
"awful examples" are well calculated to alarm the cautious 
Japanese, who seek for guarantees that they would not be 
abandoned to the vengeance of Russia and her all}*, should 
Britain, in the event of combined action with Japan 
against their common foes, retire prematurely from the 
contest, patching up a hasty, and inconclusive, peace for 
the sake of her commerce and her industries, crippled by 
war on a vast scale. 

Finally, there are Japanese, and they are in the 
majority, who doubt not only Britain's earnestness in the 
protection of her assailed interests in Eastern Asia, which 
are almost entirely parallel with those of Japan, but are 
even sceptical as to her ability to defend those interests 
by force of arms. They admit the great strength of our 
navy, whilst criticising some of its shortcomings especially 
the want of a perfect system of Reserves for adequately 
supplying the trained officers and men required to fill 
up the vacancies caused by the large number of casualties 
inseparable from modern naval warfare but to say that they 
are not impressed by our land forces is to state the case 
very mildly. Accustomed to look upon the German army 
as the criterion in all military matters, they compare ours 
with the Kaiser's great machine of " Blood and Iron," 
with its perfect, simple, well-lubricated gearing, that 
obeys, silently arid swiftly, with unerring accuracy, the 
impulsion of the master-minds trained in Moltke's school, 
and the result is not in favour of our complicated and 
costly military system, with its many anomalies, its waste 
of energy and of wealth. Warriors to a man, holding 
the militant professions in almost superstitious reverence, 


they fail to understand the spirit of a nation that cheers 
itself, hoarse over the deeds of heroism of its sailors and 
its soldiers and pays a certain small minority of its 
sons to do its fighting for it. The Japanese who read 
the account in the London newspapers of the wildly 
enthusiastic reception accorded by the populace to the 
battalion of Grenadier Guards returning from the admi- 
rably-planned and executed capture of Omdurman, noted, 
with feelings of pained astonishment we can hardly 
appreciate, the answer given by a stalwart Corporal to 
an energetic reporter, who enquired : " Well, how was 
it ? " " We've fairly earned our pay ! " quoth the Guards- 
man, and his comrades within earshot assented heartily. 
" Our pay ! " These words in the mouth of a con- 
quering hero have a strange ring in the ears of 
the Japanese, who cannot conceive why the patriotic 
British remain the only European nation that refuses 
to enter in its Statutes the assertion of every man's 
bounden duty to be trained for the defence of his native 

To these considerations, inclining the Japanese to under- 
estimate Britain's Fighting Power, must be added the influ- 
ence of the constant carping criticism of all British methods 
dinned into their ears for many years past by Occidentals 
from every country of Continental Europe, and until 
recently from America, repeating their dismal prophecies 
of the decline of Britain's power, many Japanese swelling 
the Anti-British chorus with echoes of Anglophobe ravings 
heard in their student-days in Paris, in Berlin, in Vienna, 
in St. Petersburg, or in Chicago. The most severe blow 
to that British prestige which alone can make an Anglo- 
Japanese co-operation possible has been given by Britain 
herself. The vacillating, weak policy pursued by her 
Government during the troublous times in China, in 1897 
and 1898, served to intensify the feeling, so actively fos- 
tered amongst the Japanese parties just enumerated, that 
Britain's hand had become palsied, that her resolution 


had forsaken her. The Japanese friends of Britain waited 
anxiously for a sign that the old British spirit was 
awakening, that the lion had not lost his might in 
his long lethargy. Twice, or thrice, they thought the 
moment had come. Brave words were uttered by British 
statesmen, British warships, ominously ready to translate 
those words into deeds, cruised on mysterious errands, 
and the rulers of Japan's policy thought another day 
would bring that startling proof of Britain's virility which 
would silence her detractors amongst their own people and 
would irresistibly lead to the alliance they feel in theii 
hearts must come for the mutual benefit of both nations. 
Alas 1 Their hopes were shattered. The brave words 
were followed by paltry deeds ; the great warships 
returned from their aimless yachting cruises and Russia 
went marching on. Once only did Britain rise to the 
highest level of patriotic determination, standing firm as 
a rock in defence of her interests but that was not in 
the Far East, not in the face of Russia and her ally ; it 
was in Africa, and the possible foe was France alone, for 
the extraordinary compact between the Autocrat and the 
Republic, uniting them so closely in Asia, does not, 
apparently, extend to the region of the Upper Nile. 
Britain's firmness of front had some effect on the minds 
of the peoples of Eastern Asia, but, on second thoughts, 
it only increased the impression, actively propagated by 
Britain's enemies, that Africa would, in future, absorb 
all her energies, and that she was content, with that end 
in view, to relinquish, almost without a struggle the 
paramount position she had won for herself, and so 
long maintained, in the Far East. 

If the alliance of Japan with Britain is thus not the 
matter of absolute certainty it is so generally thought to be, 
still less ground is there for the comforting belief, so preva- 
lent towards the close of 1898, that the co-operation of 
Germany in the Far East is assured to Britain in her 
opposition to the schemes of Russia and of France. The 


German Emperor cordially desires, there is no doubt about 
it, a rapprochement with Britain all over the world, but 
with this proviso an all-important one that his reconcilia- 
tion with us shall in no wise endanger the traditional good 
understanding with Russia that is the key-stone of German 
policy. Moreover, the German people see the Kaiser's 
improved relations with Britain with no favourable eye. 
The bitter antagonism of commercial rivalry the deepest 
cause of international animosities inspires them with a 
jealous dislike of Britain that no Imperial change of 
policy can eradicate. 

There remains one possible, nay, a probable, ally to be 
considered the United States of America, whose interests 
in the Far East are, to a great extent, identical with those 
of Britain and of Japan. Were Britain involved in a 
struggle with Russia and France in the Far East, and, 
consequently, all over the world, America might be trusted 
to extend to her relative in difficulties if not active assist- 
ance, at all events a neutrality of as benevolent a character 
as that shown towards America by Britain during the war 
with Spain. And that is really, for some years to come, all 
that Britain needs from America, merely sympathy that 
will ensure the uninterrupted supply of the food-stuffs 
from across the Atlantic necessary to the existence of 
the population of the British Isles. Those supplies are sure 
to come, alliance or no alliance, for dollars are to be earned 
by selling corn to famished people, and no mortal power 
exists that can prevent an American from earning dollars 
wherever they can be acquired. As to active co-operation, 
the excellent navy of the United States would be a useful 
ally, but not an indispensable one, whilst, with regard to 
operations on land, America has no regular troops to spare 
for operations beyond her own territories, soon to be so 
vastly increased. Men she could supply by tens of 
thousands, but persons in military uniforms are not neces- 
sarily soldiers, a fact often lost sight of by the English- 
speaking public on both sides of the Atlantic. 


The average Briton, seeing the alliances he had fondly 
cherished as either existent or imminent fade into pro- 
blematic visions under the search -light of dispassionate 
enquiry, may well feel uneasy, and ask the question so 
often propounded : " Can we not come to an understanding 
with Russia ? " That would, indeed, be a glorious solution 
of the Far Eastern imbroglio! Britain, Russia, France, 
Germany, America and, of course, Japan, each working 
peacefully in its own clearly-defined "Sphere of Influence" 
to the ultimate benefit, not only of itself the prime con- 
sideration in national policy but of Eastern Asia the 
vision is millennial! Unfortunately, it is not likely to 
commend itself to Russia, who holds the trumps of the 
game in her hands. Why should she abandon the ad- - 
vantages she has won by her perseverance, her boldness 
and her skill ? To induce her to relinquish these, or any 
of them, we must either offer her compensation, or frighten 
her into dropping the cards. What can we "trade" with 
Russia that will equal in value what we ask her to 
abandon ? A survey of the map of the world yields no 
answer to the question. The one equivalent we might, a 
few years ago, have offered her we have deliberately 
thrown away. As long as we remained the ally of the 
Ottoman Empire, we could always hold out as a bait to 
Russia our withdrawal of support from her coveted prize. 
Since we have assumed, mainly for religious and senti- 
mental reasons, an attitude of uncompromising hostility 
towards the Sultan, now our bitter enemy, we can no 
longer use Turkey as a pawn in the great diplomatic 
game of chess. Russia knows that she can now work 
her will in Turkey, both in Europe and in Asia, without 
troubling herself about our interference. It is with 
Germany and with Austria-Hungary she will have to 
deal for the inheritance of that " Sick Man " who is 
such an unconscionably long time in dying not with 

As to frightening Russia into abandoning her prey in 


Eastern Asia, Russia is not easily terrified. She has, it 
is true, no wish to fight us yet awhile the great 
Siberian Railway is not yet completed. In the mean- 
time the Peace Conference, to which the Powers are 
coming, each with a revolver in the hip-pocket and a 
Bowie-knife in the boot, will agreeably fill up the " wait " 
before the rise of the curtain on the Great Drama of 
the Future of the Far East. If Britain is to be pre- 
pared to play her part worthily in that epoch-making 
performance, she has no time to lose. Her cue is 
" Strength." Let Britain make herself strong ; absolutely, 
undeniably, evidently strong, not only on sea, but on land. 
This may necessitate a departure from her traditional mili- 
tary system. It probably will. " What ? Universal 
Compulsory Service in the Navy or the Army ? Impos- 
sible! Un-English!" I think I hear the outcry, but I 
know of something still more Un-English : it is called 
Defeat, likewise Humiliation. 

Let Britain be strong, not with the arrogant strength 
of the bully, but with the calm force of the strong man 
armed, determined to keep what he has worked for and 
won. Let her but show her determination to increase her 
power, by land as well as on the sea, to proportions com- 
mensurate to the World -Empire she has to guard from 
jealous competitors ; let her but give an earnest of her 
resolve to defend it against all comers, and the effect 
will not be slow in making itself felt. Japan will, with 
one accord, become the valuable and trusty ally of her 
natural friend, Britain, strong enough to command con- 
fidence and respect. China will turn from her Muscovite 
" Protector " 's heavy yoke and seek regeneration at the 
hands of Britain whom she will trust when she once 
more fears her wrath of America, soon to be an Asiatic 
Power, and of Japan, best fitted of all to undertake the 
task. Germany, France, Belgium, all the industrial nations 
of the world will work with might and main at the de- 
velopment of an untold wealth of resources". Russia, kept 

3 68 


within due bounds by the counterpoise of an immensely 
strong Britain, will find abundant occupation in exploiting 
the natural riches of her vast Asiatic Dominions. Peace, 
prosperity, and the dawn of a brilliant era will come to 
the New Far East. 




Aino," " The Hairy, 47 

Akflgi, The Story of the, in the 

Chino- Japanese War, 142-146 
America, The United States of : 

Attitude towards Japan, 15 ; as 

a possible ally to Great Britain 

in the East, 365 
Americans in Korea, 83 
Ancestors, Chinese Veneration for, 


Anderson, Professor William, 239 
Arnold, Sir Edwin, 103, 238, 296 
Arnold, Lady, 238 
Ariga, Mr., Legal Adviser to the 

Japanese Army Headquarters 

during the War, 111-112 


Bacon, Miss Alice Mabel, 240 

Bandai San Volcano, The Eruption 
of the, in 1888 ; Relief of the 
Sufferers by the Red Cross 
Society of Japan, 135-137 

Banto, The, The Japanese " Go- 
Between, " 283, 292 

Barbers Debarred until recently from 
Competing for the Chinese Civil 
Service, 42 

Berlioz, Monseigneur, His Tribute to 
the Efficacy of the Red Cross 
Society of Japan, 138 

Bimetallism, 282 

Birmingham Products for China, 8 

Brandt, Herr von, 328 


British Merchants in the East, 18, 19 


"Brits," in Revenge for "Japs," 8 
Buddhism in China, 65, 211-212, 219 


Campbell, The Reverend W., 

F.R.G.S., M.J.S., on the Work 

of the Japanese in Formosa, 


Chaill6 -Long "Bey," Colonel, and 

the Emperor of Korea, 89-90 
Chamberlain, Professor Basil Hall, 

on the Japanese, 103, 239 
China, Defeat of, by British and 
French, in 1860, 184; by 
Japanese in 1894, *-4 
The Emperor of, 201, 232 
,, The Empress-Dowager of, and 
the " yellow- wine" for the 
" Braves," 134-135, 275 
,, As a field for Enterprise, 302 
,, Military Power of, 186-189, 

,, Merchants and Missionaries 

in, 19 

,, Official Rank in, 75-76 
,, Naval Power of, 187-188 
"China-fashion," 229 
Chinese Board of Foreign Affairs 

The Tsung-li Yamfrt, 17 
,, "Boys" and Compradores or 

" Buyers," 18 

Bravery in the War of 1894, 
Instances of, 321 



Chinese Conduct in the War of 1894 
some grotesque Incidents, 
Costume, 77-80, 276-277 

Feet, 276-278 
,, " Flower Boats," 277 
., Language, 191 

Mandarin, The, 80-82, 206- 

,, Mental and Moral Character- 
istics, 184-234, 274-279 
,, Pigtail, The, 41, 70-74 
Personal Habits, 81-194 
,, Physical Characteristics, 44 
,, Railways, 205-206 
,, Reverence for their Ancestry, 


Telegraphic Code, 191 
,, View of Missionaries, 223 
,, Women, 275-279 
Chirol, Mr. Valentine, 205 
Chivalry, A fine Example of, 149-162 
CAo/>-sticks, 61-62 
Christianity in China, 212-228 
Chrysantheme, Madame, 241-243, 246 
CHUNG How, the Chinese Special 
Envoy to Russia in 1879 ; his 
Mission and its Sequel, 197-199 
Coal-fields in the Far East, 310 
Coaling Stations in the Far East, 


Colquhoun, Mr. Archibald, 205 
Coltman, Mr. Robert, Jr., M.D., 204 
Compradores, The Chinese, 18 
Concubinage in Japan, 270-273 
Confucianism in China, 210-213, 22 
Cornaby, Mr. W. Arthur, 204 
Costume, see Chinese, Japanese, 

Curzon of Kedleston, Lord, 85, 205 

Douglas, Professor R. K., 204, 228 


Earthquake, The Great, of 1891, 
Relief of the Sufferers by the Red 
Cross Society of Japan, 136, 137 

Eastlake, F. Warrington, Ph.D., and 
YAMADA Yoshi-aki, LL.B., their 
book, " Heroic Japan," 116 

Education, Female, in Japan, 


Elgar, Mr. Francis, 301 
Etonians, The, and Admiral It5, 



Fashion in Japan, 264-265 

Feudal System in Japan, its Aboli- 
tion in 1871, 41 

Fielde, Miss Adele M., 204 

Formosa and the "Long Firm" 
Transaction, 125 ; Mission of the 
Presbyterian Church of England, 
165; Work of the Japanese in, 
165-169 ; as a Field for Enter- 
prise, 297, 301 

France, n, 122-124, J 84. 3 2 & ; an d 
Russia, 352 ; and Great Britain, 
353. 358, 360 


Galsworthy, Captain, of the KowsJiing, 
on Japanese Clemency to their 
Prisoners of War, 126 
Gei-sha, The, 236, 237, 246-247, 265- 


German Emperor, The, 215 ; his Alle- 
gorical Cartoon, 327-336 
,, Influence in Japan from 

1885 to 1887. 66-67 
,, Staff Officers, advisers in 

the Japanese Army, 6 
Germany in the East, 6, 122-124, 355 
GOH Daigoro, His paper, " The 
Family Relations in Japan," 
Gordon, General, His Work in China, 


Great Britain, 4, 5, 8, 9, 35, 184, 328 ; 
Policy in the East, Past, Present, 
and Future, 356-368 
Griffis, Rev. W. E., 239 
Gundry, Mr. R. S., 205 


37 1 


Hairdressing. Different Modes of, in 

Japan, China, and Korea, 49 
Hai-yang, i 
HAT A Ristaro, Dr., His book " On 

The Women of Japan," 240 
Hearn, Mr. Lafcadio, His book, 

" Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan," 

103-104, 240 
Heroism, Three notable Cases of, in 

the Chino-Japanese War, 140- 

r 47 
Holcombe, Mr. Chester, 204 


Ideograms, Chinese, and Telegraphy, 


Ito, Vice-Admiral, 2, 130; his chival- 
rous Attitude towards his defeated 
Adversary, Admiral Ting, 149- 
162; a remarkable Letter, 149- 

Japan, Alien Citizens of, 21 

,, As an Ally to Great Britain, 

Attitude of the Powers towards, 

before the War, 5-16 
Commercial Condition of, 280- 

Consular Service of ; adminis- 

trative Duties in China after 

the War, 120 

The Emperor of, 113-115 
,, The Empress of, 67 ; and the 

Work of the Red Cross 

Society, 133-135 
" The " Great Change " in, 

(1868), 58 

> Medical Service of, 133-137 
Military Power of, 316-317 
., Naval Power of, 312-315 
i The Red Cross Society of, 

The Victory of, over China, 

and its Results, 35 
Japan Mail, The, 22 

Japan Mail Steamship Company, The, 

,, Society, The, 10, 14, 138, 240, 

2 44. 254, 301 
Japan Times, The, 22 
Japanese Attitude towards Religion, 

225, 228 

Commercial Schools, 289 
,, Costume, Male, 50-65 ; Fe- 
male, 264-269 
Eve, The, 253 

,, Fans, etc., 53-69, 77-78 
,, Government, The, and Port 

Arthur, 113-115 

Mental and Moral Character- 
istics, 105, 174-183 
"Parting" of the Hair a 

distinguishing Mark, 40 
,, Personal Habits, 53-54 
,, Physical Characteristics, 45 

Shipping, 301 
,, Shi-zoku, The, 33, 39-41, 50- 

60, 99 

,, Social classes, 285 
Syllabary, The, 195 

Traders, 282-296 
,, Women, 235-274 
" Japs " A friendly Protest against 
the use of the term, 7 


Kana, The, The Japanese Syllabary, 


KAWAMCRA, Hoshu, M.D., Inspector 
of Hospitals and Fleets, and 
Principal Medical Officer of 
Admiral Ito's squadron in the 
War : The Story of his Heroism, 

Kiao-chau, 355 
Kisaing, The, The Gei-sha of Korea, 


Knackfuss, Professor H., 327 
Korea, 29 ; American Invaders of, 


Bay, 1-4 

The King of: How he was 
prevailed upon to assume his 



present title of Emperor, 97-98 ; 
and Colonel Chaille-Long " Bey," 
89-90, 201 

Korea, The Queen of, 275 
Korean Costume and Personal Equip- 
ment, 82-98, 277-279 
Phonetic Alphabet, 196 
"Topknot," The, 89-90 
Yang-Ian, The, 43, 82-98 
,, Women, 275-279 
Kowshing, The Sinking of the, 126- 

KCBOTA Beisen, 337 


Lang, Captain, R.N., 153 

Liao-tung Peninsula, The Adminis- 
tration of, by the Japanese Civil 
Commissioners, after the War, 

Li Hung Chang, 32, 201, 213-215 

Livadia, The Treaty of, 197 

Liu Yung-fu, The Black Flag leader 
in Formosa, 167 

11 Long Firm," The, The Three Part- 
ners, Russia, France, and Ger- 
many, Japan their Victim, 122- 

Loti, Pierre, 238, 241-243 


MacKay, Rev. George Leslie, 223 
Mage, The, The National mode of 

Hair-dressing in Japan, gradually 

abandoned since 1870, 69 
Mahan, Captain, 307-308 
Manchester goods for China, 8 
"Mandarin," The Chinese, 42, 207- 

Martell, Mr., Chief Surveyor to 

Lloyd's Register, 301 
Martin, Rev. Dr. W. A. P., 218 
MATSUOKA Shuzo, Lieutenant, of the 

Akagi, 145 

Mitford, Mr. A. B., 239 
Missionaries in the Far East, 19, 217- 


MIYASHITA Sukejiro, First Class 
Hospital Attendant : His heroism 
in the Chino-Japanese War, 147 

Monroe Doctrine, The, in 1894, 123 

Morse, Professor, 209 

Mother-in-law, The, in the Far-East. 


Mutsu, Count, Japanese Foreign 
Minister : His communications 
concerning Port Arthur to 
Japanese Representatives abroad, 

Nagoya, The Castle of, 136; its 

travelled Dolphin, 136, 137 
Naniwa, The, and the Sinking of the 

Kowshing, 126-129 
Nintoku, the Japanese Emperor, The 

Legend of, 294-296 
Norman, Mr. Henry, 238-239 
North China Herald, The, 203 
Novocastrian, An Expansive, 163 


" Open Door," The, 84 
Osaka, 293-294, 316 
Oyama, Field - Marshal Count, his 
Act of Clemency, 130-131 


" Parting " of the Hair, The, a mark 
distinguishing the modern Japan- 
ese from the other Yellow Races : 
a practical illustration, 40 

Pearson, Dr. C. H., 328 

Peking, 16-17 

Peking Gazette, The, 134, 168, 203-204, 

Perry, Commodore, His Expedition 

of 1853-4, 15 

Phyong-yang, see Ping-yang 
Pickering, Mr. W. A., C.M.G., 205 
Pigtail, The Chinese, 41, 70-75 
Ping-yang, The Battle of, 12 
Port Arthur, The Massacre at, 107- 




"Prison Editor," The, in Japan, 

Prostitution in Japan, 267-270 


Railways in China, 205-208 
Red Cross Society, The, of Japan, 

133 ; its work in Peace and in 

War, 133-139 
Reid, Rev. Gilbert, 218 
Revised Treaty, The new, between 

Great Britain and Japan, 9 
Roman Catholic Missionaries in 

China, 221 
Rogers, Admiral, of the United States 

Navy, 83 
Roze, Admiral, of the French Navy, 


Russia, 3, 6, 13, 16, 103, 122-124, 197, 
199, 324-326, 328, 340-352, 358- 

SAIGO Takamori's insurrection in 

Satsuma, 297 
Saint Francis Xavier on the Japanese, 

Saint Kobo Daishi, framer of the 

Kana Syllabary, the Japanese 

ABC, 194-195 
SAKAMOTO Hachiroda, Commander 

of the Ahagi, 142-143 
SAKAMOTO Toshiatsu, Lieutenant- 
Commander of the Hiyei, 147 
Salisbury, The Marquess of, 356 
Satsuma, 297 

Sheffield products for China, 8 
Shin - to Religion, The, in Japan, 

219, 254 
Shi-zoku, The, formerly called the 

Samurai the Japanese Gentry i 

33. 39-4*. 5-6o. 99 
Sho-jo, The, Red-haired Drunkards 

a Japanese Myth, 49 
Smith, The Rev. A. H., 204 
Soul, 90, 277 
" Squeeze-P/rf/'m," 206, 207 

Ta-lien-wan," "The Legend of, 8 

Tamplin. Mr. L. H., of the Kowshing, 
on Japanese clemency to their pri- 
soners of war, 126; the story of 
the Tsao-Kiang, 127; his own 
detention, 127, 128 

Taylor, Surgeon-Major-General : His 
tribute to the Japanese Medical 
Service, 133 

Telegraphy in the Far East, 197-203 

Tidal Wave, The Great, of 1896, 

Ting, Admiral, i, 2 ; Admiral Ito's 
letter to, 149-151 ; his reply, 155; 
subsequent communications, 156- 
159 ; his suicide, 160 ; Funeral 
Honours from the Japanese, 161, 

Tog5, Rear-Admiral of the Naniwa, 
The charge of inhumanity 
against, in connection with the 
sinking of the Kowshing, 128 

Tokio. 16, 64, 66, 267, 270, 301 

Topknot, The Korean, 41 

Tseng, Marquis : His mission to St. 
Petersburg, 199 

Tseng Ch'i, His Excellency, Tartar 
General and Military Governor 
of Heilung-chiang, A charac- 
teristic official Report, 319 

Tso Tsung-Tang, General, an early 
advocate of telegraphy in China, 

Tsung-li Yamfri, The, 17, 213 

Turanian Race, The, Differences 
between the various branches of, 
in face and form, 44 

Usui Hiroshi, Surgeon, of theAkagi : 

His heroism in the Chino- 

JapaneseWar, 142-146 
"Vladimir": His book on "The 

China-Japan War," 112 


Wade. Sir Thomas, 218 
Walters, T., 204 



Wei-hai-wei, I, 2, 129, 130, 160, 

1 68 
Weyde, Major Van der : His verdict 

on the photographs of Port 

Arthur incidents. 108-109 
Williamson, Rev. Dr. A., 218 
Wolseley, Lord, on the military 

qualities of the Chinese, 9 


Yalu Sea-Fight, The, 1-3, 12, 318 
YAM ADA Yoshi-aki, LL.B., and F. 
Warrington Eastlake, Ph.D. : 
Their book, " Heroic Japan," 

Yamaji, Lieutenant-General, and the 
Port Arthur massacre, 114 

Yamato Damashi-7, " The Spirit of 
Old Japan," 33, 259 

Yamato-take, Prince, the legendary 
Japanese warrior, and his " fire- 
strike-bag," 63, 64 

" Yang-ban," The, Korean ruling class, 
43, 82-96 

" Yellow Peril," The imaginary 
327-336 ; The real, 337-339 

Y. Kawara, Captain, of the Yos- 
hino, 36 

Yoshino. H.I.J.M.S., at Plymouth, 

Yoshi-wara, The, at Tokio, 267-270 



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